The New Scottish Renaissance? [book]

Scott Hames
2018 Oxford Scholarship Online  
This chapter examines the boom in Scottish literary fiction during the 1980s and 1990s, and the rhetoric of its presentation as a 'new renaissance'. With this label came remarkably strong claims for the political efficacy of the contemporary literary novel — a phenomenon that has not attracted the interest it deserves from literary historians outside Scotland. In the two decades prior to devolution, the emergence of formally ambitious Scottish novelists sponsored a conflation of fiction and
more » ... of fiction and democracy which figured the novel as the locus of national self-representation and reinvention. While there is clear evidence of these writers' influence on the self-image of post-devolution Scotland, a closer examination of their fiction and its staging of 'Scottishness' complicates any straightforward affiliation with cultural nationalism. The 'new renaissance' discourse, this chapter suggests, both inflates the social impact of these novelists and delimits the politics of their writing to the display of suppressed 'identity'.
doi:10.1093/oso/9780198749394.003.0031 fatcat:lwq32ncyg5eqpfgp3vmvlbioiy