The Paradigms of Fiction
Mediating the World in the Novels of Iain Banks: The Paradigms of Fiction thus develops a critical paradigm capable of uniting the extremely versatile mainstream production of this Scottish writer.
Introduction. The Case of Iain (M.) Banks
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The Case of Iain (M.) Banks
Iain Banks, an internationally recognized, contemporary British novelist, whose death on 9 June 2013 interrupted his successful career, had never forgotten his Scottish roots. In an interview for Spike Magazine in 1996, he admitted: “I’m Scottish and a writer so I’m a Scottish writer” (Mitchell). The statement may come across somewhat as a syllogism; however, it gives us an insight into the author’s own idea of his Scottishness and of the place he occupied on his country’s literary scene. In his view, both questions seemed to be linked, first and foremost, with his provenance and the place of residence rather than with his close affiliation with the prevailing trends and the climate of literary changes in Scotland. This view is perhaps not surprising, as Iain Banks regarded himself primarily as a writer of science fiction, who usually spent his time with other SF writers (Mitchell 1996), and whose main objective was the rehabilitation of science fiction. In his opinion, this aim would be attained once a science fiction novel was shortlisted for the Booker Prize (Alegre 2000: 198).
Another yardstick for measuring Banks’s contribution to Scottish literature was, he suggested, the degree to which he employed Scottish settings and characters and addressed particularly Scottish themes and concerns in his books. Asked to determine his own place among contemporary Scottish writers, he offered rather commonsensically:
I think it’s more of a sliding scale, a spectrum of Scottishness, someone like James Kelman or Alasdair Gray at one end...
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