Scottish Skalds and Sagamen: Old Norse Influence on Modern Scottish Literature

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Tuckwell Press, 1996 - Literary Criticism - 311 pages
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Scottish Skalds and Sagamen explores a previously neglected but important aspect of Scotland's literary history: the influence of Viking culture on modern Scottish literature. The book illustrates, firstly, how the Viking invasions and settlements have made a lasting impact on the history, languages and cultures of Scotland and how, from the very beginning, Scotsmen made a distinct and important contribution to the dissemination of Old Norse culture in Britain and played a significant role in the creation of the notion of a Norse ethos.
Secondly, and more importantly, the book illustrates in detail how a consciousness of this Norse heritage has influenced nine major Scottish writers of this century: Hugh MacDiarmid, Lewis Grassie Gibbon, Neil Gunn, John Buchan, Naomi Mitchison, David Lindsay, Eric Linklater, Edwin Muir and George Mackay Brown, throwing new light on aspects of Scottish identity and literary trends, especially in the period of the Scottish Renaissance 1920-50. Scottish Skalds and Sagamen provides a new and stimulating contribution to the ongoing debate on the nature and sources of modern Scottish identity and Scottish literature.

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About the author (1996)

Julian D'Arcy is Reader in English Literature at the University of Iceland.

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