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Scotland 2014 and Beyond – Coming of Age and Loss of Innocence?


Edited By Klaus Peter Müller

This book examines Scotland from a great variety of international and disciplinary perspectives, offering viewpoints from ordinary citizens as well as experts in culture, history, literature, sociology, politics, the law, and the media. The texts investigate the mental processes, dispositions, and activities that have been involved in past and present discussions about Scottish independence, freedom, equality, justice, and the creation of a fair society. Such discussions have been shaped by specific values, ideologies, class or personal interests and objectives as well as by specific ways of telling their stories. These are analysed together with the European, global, and democratic dimensions of Scotland, in order to find answers to the question how coming of age might be achieved today.
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The Discovery of Scotland: Walter Scott and World Literature in the Age of Union: Ian Duncan (Berkeley)


This essay considers Walter Scott’s contribution to the emergence of a modern phenomenon of ‘world literature’, which dialectically accompanied the proliferation of national literatures in the Romantic period. Scott’s fictions invoke world literature by invoking European and global literary traditions; by posing their telling and reading as acts of translation; and by imagining world history not as a universal, progressive pathway, but as a horizon of multiple, hypothetical and potential histories.

Writing in 1829, in the “General Preface” to the collected edition of the Waverley Novels, Walter Scott characterizes the political project of his historical fiction as the cultivation of a British, rather than Scottish, community of feeling. He cites as a model the Anglo-Irish national tales of Maria Edgeworth: “I felt that something might be attempted for my own country, of the same kind with that which Miss Edgeworth so fortunately achieved for Ireland” (Scott 1829, xiii). By arousing sympathetic interest in Irish and now Scottish characters, manners and traditions, a novelist might do “more towards completing the Union, than perhaps all the legislative enactments by which it has been followed up.” Scott’s declaration, aimed strategically at the British imperial market from which he is hoping to recoup his ruined finances as well as at the edition’s dedicatee, King George IV, should not be taken straight. Nevertheless it has cast a long shadow over the modern assessment of his achievement, from Edwin Muir’s dismissal, “he set himself to carry on a tradition which was not a tradition...

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