Volume 08 Issue 4

The SRB Interview: Orhan Pamuk

November 16, 2012

When Orhan Pamuk was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2006, the Swedish Academy credited him with discovering ‘new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures.’ That same year a Turkish court dropped charges against him, ending a well-publicised trial that had caused international...

Volume 8 – Issue 4 – Editorial

November 16, 2012

THE PUBLISHING SENSATION of the past few months was apparently J.K. Rowling’s first novel aimed specifically at adults. Having read The Casual Vacancy from cover to cover we are fairly confident in saying – in the words of Norman MacCaig – that ‘it was okay, as far as it went’. Had it been...

SRB Diary: Sandy and Obama: Diary of a Student of the Haar

November 16, 2012
by Benjamin Morris

The timing was almost too auspicious. Seven years almost to the day and I was on a plane back from Edinburgh to Mississippi, where a hurricane was bearing down on my hometown and my family. In 2005, the storm was named Katrina, and in the days that it had formed in the Atlantic and passed through the...

For the Good Times

November 16, 2012
by Thomas Devine

At the beginning of the 1960s I was a 15-year-old schoolboy in the middle of studies at a selective all boys Catholic ‘senior secondary’ in Motherwell. It drew pupils from all parts of Lanarkshire: Shotts and Harthill to the south and Bail-lieston, on the outskirts of Glasgow, to the north. In the...

Crimes Against Fiction

November 16, 2012
by Alan Taylor

Why do people read detective stories?’ asked Edmund Wilson in the New Yorker as the Second World War was beginning to show signs of petering out. Wilson, a friend of F. Scott Fitzgerald who counted among his correspondents Vladimir Nabokov and John Dos Passos, was arguably the pre-eminent American...

Another Side of Dylan

November 16, 2012
by Brian Morton

Bob Dylan is that very rare thing, a completely genuine charlatan. He is defined by a peculiar kind of knowingness. He knows; we know he knows; he knows we know he knows. He always knows a little more than us, and specifically, he knows where he’s going next. The other thing that defines him is movement....

Aye But…

November 16, 2012
by Michael Russell

Over the last 20 years.’ says Stephen Maxwell in his introduction to Arguing for Independence, ‘the number of books dedicated to elaborating a case for Scottish independence can be counted on the fingers of two hands.’  He is right.  The reluctance of the national movement in Scotland to produce...

What’s The Score?

November 16, 2012
by Kevin McKenna

The friendly lady at Glasgow’s Waterstone’s store was intrigued as I purchased a copy of what will probably be the biggest-selling sports book in Scotland this year.

The Other Livingstone

November 16, 2012
by Susan Mansfield

In 1863, Mary Livingstone found herself heading up the Zambezi on board the steamship Pioneer with two other women: Miss Ann Mackenzie, the unmarried sister of Bishop Mackenzie, leader of the frontier mission at Magomero, and Mrs Henry Burrup, the young wife of one of his recruits. Miss Mackenzie had...

The Outsider

November 16, 2012
by Colin Waters

When did authors become so boring? That question zipped through my head several times in August while I read reports of the Edinburgh International Writers’ Conference. This parliament of penmen was convened to settle the Big Questions facing literature in the digital era. The excuse was that 2012...

Going For Broke

November 16, 2012
by Ian Fraser

It was intended as a memorial to the Scots who died in the Napoleonic Wars. But it wasn’t long before the incomplete replica of the Parthenon on Calton Hill was labelled ‘Edinburgh’s disgrace’. This was because the so-called National Monument was left half-finished, with just twelve Doric columns...

From Page To Stage

November 16, 2012
by Joseph Farrell

Some years ago, a Scottish playwright objected to the sheer number of adaptations of novels which were being staged across the country. Such works were valid enough, he agreed, but they should be rare and exceptional visitors to our theatres, since the vitality of theatrical life was determined by...

Hello There Vagina!

November 16, 2012
by Lucy Ellmann

As anyone who’s seen that dispiriting film, Hope Springs, will have gathered, the world is full of sexually frustrated women. According to Naomi Wolf, there’s an ‘epidemic’ of female sexual unhappiness in the West. The Victorians were bad enough, dishonouring both male and female sexuality...

Volume 8 – Issue 4 – Poems

November 16, 2012
by Rob A. MacKenzie

CUSTOMER SERVICES CALL CENTRE Fleck avoids mixing daylight and alcohol, guffaws at jokes hours late, buttonholes friends to balance the twin securities of life assurance and certain death. His favourite phrase is, ‘Give me a break.’ He has never thought himself idle.His right eye, when not blinking,keep...

Set In Stone

November 16, 2012
by Brian McCabe

It may seem strange that a book like this should not have been brought out by a Scottish publisher long before now, but it is perhaps fitting that it is published in America, as part of a series called ‘Poets for the Millennium’, featuring the work of such luminaries of the avant-garde as Andre...