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Volume 07 Issue 1 – Scottish Review of Books

Volume 07 Issue 1

The Book Group

February 18, 2011

What next for our young writers? Generations of writers fascinate. Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey muddying their boots round Grasmere. Auden and Isherwood making memories in Berlin. Kerouac tapping out the rhythm on a wine jug and yelling go as Ginsberg premieres Howl in City Lights bookstore. We...

Volume 7 – Issue 1 – Editorial

February 18, 2011

“you’re only new once,” Rodge Glass said when interviewed for this issue’s essay on Scotland’s young writers. In an age-obsessed era, literature remains one of the few fields a practitioner can still be described as young even as they enter their forties. There is a reason for that. It’s...


February 18, 2011
by Alan Taylor

The Left in the Dock Towards the end of last year I spent as many days as I could manage attending the trial of Tommy and Gail Sheridan at the High Court in Glasgow. Shortly after nine in the morning I made my way through the Merchant City, via Trongate and Glasgow Cross, then down the Saltmarket, going...

Volume 7 – Issue 1 – Poetry – Leonard Cohen

February 18, 2011
by Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen was born in Montreal in 1934. He published his first volume of poetry, Let Us Compare Mythologies, in 1956. His early influences included Lorca, Whitman, and Yeats. The Spice-Box of Earth (1961), Cohen’s second volume of poetry, brought him to wider attention in Canada; a number of poems...

The Source of the Nile

February 18, 2011
by Pat Kane

The music of the Blue Nile conjured a distinctive image of Glasgow in the 1980s. It’s a straightforward memory test: recall the music you listened to when you went to university or college. Try it; shut your eyes. And once you finally return to this page, has a recollection ever been so vivid? Have...

The King James Version

February 18, 2011
by Rosemary Goring

King James VI’s visit to Gowrie House in 1600 has provided conspiracy theorists with material for centuries. But what happened? The Gunpowder Plot in 1605, whose aim was to blow the Houses of Parliament and King James VI and I to smithereens, never posed a moment’s serious threat to the monarch’s,...

A Higher Language

February 18, 2011
by Jen Hadfield

What Iain Crichton Smith couldn’t say. In ‘Shall Gaelic Die?’, Iain Crichton Smith’s exploration of what language is, and what we lose when a language is lost, the poet quoted Wittgenstein – ‘That thing about which you can not speak – be silent about it.’ I read ‘Shall Gaelic Die?’...

From Paisley to Peoria

February 18, 2011
by Jonathan Murray

The success of Bill Forsyth’s Scottish films has overshadowed his career in Hollywood. Where is Bill Forsyth?’ While browsing a movie website two summers ago, I was stumped by an anonymous blogger. Where is Scotland’s most important living filmmaker? It’s more than a decade since Forsyth last...

Vincent’s Double

February 18, 2011
by Alan Taylor

Van Gogh’s doppelganger was a Scot who brought the artist’s work to Glasgow There was no mistaking the likeness. Put Vincent Van Gogh and Alexander Reid in a police line-up and you’d have had the devil of a trouble to tell them apart. Both were red-headed with spiky beards and a penetrating,...