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Inspiring Views from «a' the airts» on Scottish Literatures, Art and Cinema

The First World Congress of Scottish Literatures in Glasgow 2014


Edited By Klaus Peter Müller, Ilka Schwittlinsky and Ron Walker

Where do Scottish literatures, art, and cinema stand today? What and how do Scottish Studies investigate? Creative writers and scholars give answers to these questions and address vital concerns in Scottish, British, and European history from the Union debate and the Enlightenment to Brexit, ethnic questions, and Scottish film. They present new insights on James Macpherson, Robert Burns, John Galt, J. M. Barrie, Walter Scott, James Robertson, war poetry, new Scottish writing, and nature writing. The contributions highlight old and new networking and media as well as the persistent influences of the past on the present, analyzing a wide range of texts, media and art forms with approaches from literary, cultural, media, theatre, history, political, and philosophical studies.

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Partners in Crime? Cross-Examining Scotland’s Two Most Famous Serial Killer Novelists (Len Wanner)


Len Wanner (Edinburgh)

Partners in Crime? Cross-Examining Scotland’s Two Most Famous Serial Killer Novelists

Abstract: Over the past 20 years, serial killer fiction has become arguably the most popular form of Tartan Noir – i.e. dark Scottish crime fiction – yet when asked about its most popular writer, most of us will answer with one of two names: Val McDermid or Stuart MacBride. So far has their public profile risen above that of their compatriots that they might easily, and mistakenly, be associated with one another despite some rather remarkable differences. This essay will correct that mistake and reveal what is at risk of being obscured by such a falsely homogenised reputation – the literature’s enormous diversity in both ethics and aesthetics.

Typically, the serial killer novel is about a large-scale, last-ditch attempt at apprehending a man who has escaped police detectives, psychological profilers, and forensic scientists, even though he has committed multiple homicide and courted media attention because he was deeply shamed and / or highly abused as a child.

Stereotypically, the serial killer novel is structured into three parts. In part one, the lead investigator discovers the serial killer’s crimes to date. Soon, he or she has reconnoitred the latest crime scene, researched the post-mortem examinations of all known victims, and recognised the killer’s pattern. Thus, the investigator – and with him or her the reader – realises early in the narrative that the killer is fiendishly crafty and sadistically cruel. Then, in part two,...

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