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Duality and Otherness in Modern Scottish Literature

Class at Faculty of Arts |


The concepts of the doppelgänger,the split personality, the division of the self into various conceptual fragments, the oppositions of body and soul, good and evil aspects of the psyche and the confrontation with the philosophical

Other are all important streams in Scottish Literature. This course seeks to identify and position these narratives within the Canon, movements and genres of Scottish Literature( and with reference to other texts in British

Literature )It is anticipated that alterity will be unveiled as a key device in the context of the negotiation, recovery ( from Imperial narratives) and renewal of Scottish Identity and will enable the student to better debate discourses of dependence and of independence in postcolonial Scotland .

Class Topic List 1. The religious tenets of Calvinism and antinomianism in Scotland and the national covenant as Constitution-"The

Dark Repressive Force " and the development of modern concepts of Dualism. 2.Renaissance forebears,Gothic precedents and the development of Otherness and Alterity in Scottish streams of

British Romanticism -tracking the development of the doppelgänger in its (dis)guises from the 19th C to the 21st

Centuries(e.g.Hoggs Justified Sinner, Scott`s Redgauntlet and Stevenson`s The Master of Ballantrae) 2.19th C manifestations: the age of the orphan and double -key source texts for the modern era-

Hoffmann, Romantic and Gothic excesses and the Dualist divide 3.The 20th C , Literary Renaissance and Nationalism as an engine of identity : alterity and the assertion of caledonian anti-syzygy : identity and contradiction within the process of devolution/secession . 4.The end of the Renaissance: new departures and new binary oppositions: Hugh McDiarmid versus the

"Cosmopolitan Scum" and the Scottish avant garde - Alexander Trocchi ,and the uses of pornography and erotica in the pursuit of otherness in Scottish writing. 5.The Thatcher Years- National Trauma, Nationalism and the effulgence of the modern Scots gothic 6.Imaginative Reterritorialisation- Scotland re-worked as imaginative landscape- Welsh ,Gray`s Lanark and Ian

Banks(Trainspotting, Lanark and The Bridge) 7.The Imagined Community and its outcasts-Comedy, Genre Literatures and Subversion in the modern Scots novel- Warner`s Morvern Callar, Ian Rankin`s Rebus novels and Alasdair Gray`s 1982 Janine. 8. "Where ghaists and houlets nightly cry"(Burns)-Robertson, Rankin ,Wallace, Louise Welsh and Whyte and the reiteration of the supernatural in modern crime writing. 9.Case Texts: The supervised soul-the retreat of the welfare state and the new panopticon-Alasdair Gray, Dilys

Rose, Irvine Welsh -power, repression and surveillance of the newly subjectivised Scot. 10. Case Texts: "The case for treatment" -The metaphors of disease, mental illness and psychiatry in Modern

Scottish Literature: Gray, Banks, Rose et al 11. Case Texts: "The Call of the Unnameable"(Kristeva)- modern Scottish female dualisms and their theses-

Janice Galloway, Dilys Rose and Emma Tennant . 12.The Riding of the Marches - the scouring of the moral contract in modern Scots writing: taboos, fragmented selves, the limits of decency and the role of social transgression in creating paraxial realms - Mirror Writing- Irvine

Welsh, Toni Davidson, Michael Faber ,Duncan McLean et al.


To obtain class credit , students must attend class ( maximum of 3 class sessions missed),participate and demonstrate an awareness of the texts/readings in question.

For 3 credits: One Essay of 2000 words fully MLA compliant on a topic chosen from the class topic list and agreed with the instructor.

For 5 credits: One Essay of 4000 words, fully MLA compliant on a topic chosen from the class topic list and agreed with the instructor. Must demonstrate superior academic synthesis and a robust bibliography of secondary texts.


Banks,Ian.The Bridge.London.2002.Abacus. ISBN 0 349 10215 5

Banks,Ian.The Wasp Factory.London.1990.Abacus.ISBN 0 349 10177 9

Davidson,Toni. Scar Culture. Edinburgh.2000.Canongate.ISBN 9781841950006

Faber,Michel. Under the Skin.Edinburgh.2010.Cannongate.ISBN 978 1 84767 892 8

Galloway,Janice. Blood.London.1992.Minerva ISBN 0 7493 9195 2

Gray,Alasdair. 1982 Janine.Harmondsworth.1984.Penguin ISBN 0 14 007110 5

McCabe,Brian. The Other McCoy.London.1991.Penguin.ISBN 0 14 014588 5

McLean,Duncan.Bunkerman. London.1996.Vintage. ISBN 0 09 953481 9

Rankin,Ian. Mortal Causes. 1994. Orion Books. ISBN 0 7528 7720 8

Robertson,James. The Fanatic. London.2000.Fourth Estate.ISBN 978 1 84115 189 2

Rose,Dilys. Pest Maiden. London 1999.Review. ISBN 0 7472 7302 2

Tennant,Emma. The Bad Sister.Edinburgh.2000.Canongate. ISBN 1 84195 053 x

Trocchi,Alexander. Helen and Desire.Edinburgh.1999.Rebel Inc.ISBN 0 86241 898 4

Warner,Allan.Morvern Callar. London.1996.Vintage. ISBN 9780099586111

Wallace,Christopher. The Resurrection Club. London. 1997.Flamingo.ISBN 0 00 225857 9

Welsh ,Irvine. The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs.London.2007.Vintage ISBN 9780099513445

Welsh,Louise.The Cutting Room.Edinburgh.2002.Cannongate. ISBN 1 84195 280 X

Whyte, Christopher. The Warlock of Strathearn. London.1997.Gollancz.ISBN 0 575 06506 0

Selected Critical Bibliography:

Craig,Cairns.The Modern Scottish Novel.Edinburgh.2000.EUP.ISBN 0 7486 0893 1

Manlove,Colin.Scottish Fantasy Literature- A Critical Survey.ISBN 1 898410 20 8

Miller, Karl. Doubles.London.2008.Faber and Faber.ISBN 978-0-571-24835-3

Petrie,Duncan.Contemporary Scottish Fictions. Edinburgh.2004.EUP. ISBN 0 7486 1789 2

Wallace, Gavin and Randall Stevenson( Eds).The Scottish Novel Since The Seventies.Edinburgh 1994.EUP.ISBN 0 7486 0415 4