Volume 09 Issue 4

The SRB Interview: Richard Holloway

November 26, 2013

Richard Holloway is the author of more than twenty books, including Godless Morality: How to Keep Religion out of Ethics, Doubts and Loves: What is Left of Christianity, Looking in the Distance: The Human Search for Meaning and Between the Monster and the Saint: Reflections on the Human Condition. His...

Volume 9 – Issue 4 – Editorial

September 13, 2013

YOU’ve got to read it to believe it.’ says Amazon of its Kindle Paperwhite. It is but one among many Kindles, several of which are called Fire. Why we know not. Once you’ve taken the plunge there are countless ‘accessories’ with which you can embellish your Kindle and ‘customise’ it. There...

SRB Diary: Africa’s Wigtown

November 26, 2013
by Julie Davidson

THE Great Karoo, the vast semi-desert at the heart of South Africa, holds near-mystical potency for South Africans, and tongue-twisting challenges for Anglophone visitors. The prevailing language is Afrikaans, which makes mischief with vowels and consonants. How could I possibly know that Matjiesfontein...

Weighing up the Evidence

November 26, 2013
by David Torrance

Books obviously mirror events, therefore it is possible to track the contemporary Scottish debate via various publications. By ‘contemporary’ I mean the period since Winnie Ewing’s by-election victory in Hamilton almost exactly 46 years ago. That SNP breakthrough was responsible for all the constitutional...

Where are the Gods?

November 26, 2013
by Joseph Farrell

Thucydides, the great historian of the war between Sparta and Athens, gives an account of the fate of the Athenian prisoners captured by Syracuse after the disaster of the Sicilian expedition. They were imprisoned in a stone quarry, now converted into an elegant garden, deprived of food and drink and...

Bookselling in Lapland

November 26, 2013
by Jennie Renton

A work acquaintance – a born-again Christian – once charitably shared with me that he guessed I’d been round the block a couple of times. Perhaps because of my love of secondhand bookshops, I chose to take this as a compliment. The great thing about used books is that they’ve been round many...

East Coast Blues

November 26, 2013
by Colin Waters

I’ve read Watership Down, Doctor Zhivago, The Year of Magical Thinking, Never Let Me Go, All Quiet on the Western Front and Tender is the Night – and none of these books has induced in me a mood of misty sadness to the degree that Nuala Naughton’s Barrowland – A Glasgow Experience has. This...

Glasgow’s Forgotten Feminist

November 26, 2013
by Zoë Strachan

Hillary Clinton concluded her keynote speech at the 2013 Women in the World Summit by saying that ‘Women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights’. A neat soundbite, and exactly what Catherine MacKinnon was getting at when she posed the question Are Women Human? back in...

Dancing On Their Own

November 26, 2013
by Brian Morton

There’s every opportunity here for wry reworking of some well-known phrases and sayings. The past is, indeed, another country and nostalgia isn’t what it used to be. Some rejigging of clichés may be required, though. As no historian of the 1960s fails to remind us, Philip Larkin thought something...

The Govan Messiah

November 26, 2013
by Kevin McKenna

The managers of our grandest football institutions must soon be compelled to publish their collected memoirs in the manner of prime ministers, presidents and five-star cabinet secretaries. They would be made aware of this responsibility long before their tenures ended and would be provided with the...

A Dreary Kind of Talent

November 26, 2013
by Gordon Wright

12 July, 1968 I arranged to photograph Hugh MacDiarmid at his home on 11 August 1968, his seventy-sixth birthday. I mentioned this to Marian McNeill [the folklorist] who said he was an old friend and hoped to visit him at Brownsbank before she was too old. I phoned MacDiarmid and asked him if I could...

Was There A Scottish Renaissance?

November 26, 2013
by Rosemary Goring

For most of us, the question of whether or not Scotland ever had a Renaissance is academic in every sense. After all, so many centuries later, who cares, and why, indeed, should we? As Dr Andrea Thomas writes in the opening paragraph of her engrossing, eye-opening history, ‘the associations with Italy...

Volume 9 – Issue 4 – New Poems – Beauty

November 26, 2013
by CK Stead

One: Like a bird (for Kay)   Long ago, remember, when we lived on the beach at Takapuna, a Texan   teacher of maths bought a fisherman’s dizzy wife for one thousand pounds – a good   price, equal to one year’s professional salary. All three – the fisherman,   the Texan maths-man, the wife...