Archive for the ‘Scotland’ Category

“Scott Moncrieff is, in the end, rather hard to pin down”

C. K. Scott Moncrieff painted by Edward Stanley Mercer (1889–1932)

Reviewing “Chasing Lost Time: The Life of C. K.  Scott Moncrieff” by Jean Findlay,  D.J.  Taylor writes:

Proust died in 1922, long before the project was complete, impressed by the rendering down while deprecating its occasional floweriness and over-elaboration: had Scott Moncrieff added the word “to” before Swann’s Way (the title of Du côté de chez Swann) he would have “saved everything”, its author insisted. The translator by this time had disappeared to Italy, where he combined a prodigious work rate – two chapters a day was not unusual – and spying activities for British intelligence’s “Passport Office”, with a variegated social life that took in everyone from Harold Acton and DH Lawrence (by whose books and personality he was unconvinced) to the Florentine bookseller Orioli and, we infer, a great deal of bought sex. Much of the £1,000 a year by this point was being used to support a collection of hard-up nephews and nieces, and his Who’s Who entry under the heading “Recreations” is a nicely ironic “nepotism”.

Dead at 40 of an oesophageal cancer that, Findlay speculates, may have had something to do with his fondness for oral sex, Scott Moncrieff is, in the end, rather hard to pin down. The bawdy, and, to be honest, faintly embarrassing, badinage he exchanged with his fast friend Vyvyan Holland – Oscar Wilde‘s son – gives no hint of the uncertainties that dogged his early career and the pseudonyms that clouded his search for a literary identity. The great romantic passion of his life – for the heterosexual Wilfred Owen – seems not to have been reciprocated. To read JC Squire’s obituary notice (“That poetic, but positive and staccato soul … the supercilious curl of his moustached lip, and the fierce, straight look in his eyes”) is to wonder whether it may not have concealed someone else altogether.


“Spike contributor Peter Robertson has been busy putting together ‘Viva Caledonia’”


Peter Robertson

Spike Magazine writes:

Spike contributor Peter Robertson has been busy putting together ‘Viva Caledonia’.

The web showcase brings together new, unpublished work by twelve of Scotland’s most important writers: Alasdair Gray, Janice Galloway, W. N. Herbert, Tom Pow, Dilys Rose, Robert Alan Jamieson, Kirsty Gunn, Robert Crawford, Anne Donovan, Alan Bissett, Laura Marney and Alan Spence. Artwork by Calum Colvin and music by Peter de Moncey-Conegliano.

Viva Caledonia is featured on the Mad Hatter’s Review website – you’ll find it at the bottom of the front page in the left hand column.”

“Glory is the child of peril”: Tobias Smollett

Tobias Smollett

“Glory is the child of peril”: Tobias Smollett

Will there ever be an Ian Rankin archive?/ Video

Ian Rankin

Will there ever be an Ian Rankin archive?/ Video.

Robert Burns: To A Louse/ Video

Each year primary and secondary Schools across South Lanarkshire learn poems and songs by Scotland’s Bard Robert Burns. Some schools partake purely for pleasure whilst others polish their performances to compete in competitions. Here the winner of the William Law Memorial Trophy from Calderwood Primary performs ‘To a Louse’/ Video.