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Modern Scots Novel

Class at Faculty of Arts |



Dealing with the 20th and 21st Century Scots novel is still a major undertaking .Beginning with the literary renaissance , we will then consider the Glasgow novel and its generative archetypes. This course seeks to position many key texts and authors within the context of literary theories which while commonplaces of European literature are not consistently applied to Scottish texts.


Some texts which will be under consideration:

James Kelman- The Busconductor Hines

Jeff Torrington-Swing! Hammer, Swing!

Ian Banks- The Bridge/The Wasp Factory

Alan Bissett-Death of a Ladies’ Man

Muriel Spark-Robinson

Alastair Gray-Lanark

Alan Warner-These Demented Lands

Irvine Welsh- Filth/Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs

Emma Tenant-Faustine

Janice Galloway- The trick is to keep breathing

George MacKay Brown- Greenvoe-

John Burnside-The Devil’s Footprints



Two short papers (5-7 pp.) will be required (each counting for 30% of the grade), and there will be a final exam

(25% of the grade). MA students may either do these assignments or opt to write a 15-20 pp. term paper and be excused from the exam. Attendance at seminars is crucial, as discussion is needed to ensure understanding of the material, and participation in this discussion will count for 15% of the final grade.


Paper 1: 30%

Paper 2: 30%

Final paper: 25%

Discussion: Seminar attendance and participation: 15%