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Volume 03 Issue 1 – Scottish Review of Books

Volume 03 Issue 1

Volume 3 – Issue 1 – Editorial

October 29, 2009

IN Mediated – How The Media Shape The World Around You, Thomas De Zengotita remembers a moment in his daughter’s childhood when she asked who he admired. Wittgenstein, he answered, before proceeding to explain why with obvious difficulty. Intuiting something “stern and forbidding” about dad’s...


October 29, 2009

Dubai or Not to Buy WHEN the Edinburgh International Film Festival first kicked off, in 1947, it was one of three such events in the world, with just Cannes and Venice to rub up against. Now, the calendar is choked with film festivals; they’ve become a requisite tourist attraction, and it seems that...

Budd Schulberg

October 29, 2009
by Leslie Clark

SUCCESS AND FAILURE have been the obsessions of the American writer Budd Schulberg, and the themes of all his work. “Success in all its seasons is something I really lived with,” says the novelist and screenwriter and boxing columnist. “I didn’t have to create it. It was really imposed on me....


October 29, 2009
by George Rosie

OVER THE YEARS I’ve spent more time than I care to remember scratching around in the old Register of Sasines and the newer Land Register trying to find out who sold what piece of land to whom and for how much. Usually I was trying to track down some dodgy deal done on the shores of the Cromarty Firth...

Prince of Profligacy

October 29, 2009
by Pat Kane

TO PARAPHRASE THE NAME of a classic Eighties band, in 2006 pop was still continually eating itself. Forty-somethings listened to the music blaring out of their daughters’ and sons’ PCs (or hissing out of the earbuds of their iPods), and felt strangely at home. The dance music sounded like synthpop;...

Trivial Pursuits

October 29, 2009
by Rosemary Goring

HOME MAY BE where the heart is, but that organ could have been made of tin for all the interest historians have bestowed on it in the past. While battles, executions, dynastic feuds, political revolutions and the vagaries of the economy have been given devout consideration over the centuries, the locus...

The Union Unravelled

October 29, 2009
by Dr John R Young

WITH THE APPROACH of the tercentenary of the Act of Union between Scot-land and England on 1st May 2007, a plethora of new publications on the topic are coming off the printing presses. Probably by accident rather than design, the anniversary is remarkably close to the forthcoming elections to the Scottish...

The King My Father

October 29, 2009
by Christopher Rush

OF ALL THE FEARS that darkened my days, none was worse than the fear of my own father. Why I call him king I have no idea, but it’s clearly something to do with Hamlet. The king my father. He was more of the wicked uncle than the father, more of the cutpurse than the king, a usurper whose reign...

Known Knowns, Known Unknowns

October 29, 2009
by Colin Waters

IN 1960, PHILIP LARKIN wrote to twenty British writers (including Graham Greene, TS Eliot, and EM Forster), asking what were their experiences of selling their manuscripts. One author responded with an answer that was not only typical but has rung down the years: “The whole point is that England is...

Dallas revisited

October 29, 2009
by Leslie Clark

THE TOURIST TO DALLAS, Texas, can visit two museums in the neighbourhood still known as Dealey Plaza. This urban park, frequently used for parades, is bound by large office buildings, including the Texas State Book Depository and by a pergola and a grassy knoll. In this plaza on November 22, 1963, a...

Ane o’ Thae Beatnik Poets

October 29, 2009
by Alasdair MacRae

WHILE BROWSING the other day in the Letters Of Hugh MacDiarmid, I came across a letter to Maurice Lindsay written in1965, concerning an anthology of Scottish poetry which Lind-say was co-editing with George Bruce and Edwin Morgan. MacDiarmid writes: “I deplore Edwin Morgan’s association with you...

Volume 3 – Issue 1 – Poems – Alexander Hutchison

October 29, 2009
by Alexander Hutchinson

S U O N A  P E R  T E The bell strikes five from the tower of San Michele: the seventeenth hour has slid away; a late September sun has spilled along and off the south-faced wall, and soon this beautiful, ravenous, vast city in the valley of the Po, its elegance and industry, its desperate imprecations,...

Volume 3 – Issue 1 – Gallimaufry

October 29, 2009
by Lesley McDowell

Patrick Robertson: A Tale Of Adventure Brian Hennigan POLYGON, £6.99 pp201, ISBN 1904598455 Travel, they say, broadens the mind, but what does it do to one’s morality? A case in point is the titular ‘hero’ (one uses that term advisedly here) of Brian Hennigan’s really quite amusing first novel....