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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Scotland’s Literary Culture

‘If the Nobel prize came from Scotland they would give it to a writer of fucking detective fiction or else some kind of child writer,’ author James Kelman told his audience at the Edinburgh book festival.

5 Responses to “Scotland’s Literary Culture”

  1. Jim Murdoch says:

    Interesting. I’m just putting the finishing touches to a post about writing in writing in dialects – Scottish dialects specifically – but I couldn’t find a quote from Kelman that fitted and so he just gets a nod and passed over. I can see his point up to a point. We have some damn good writers but world class? Mibbe no.

  2. hugh mcmillan says:

    His point was that we have good writers but the prevailing culture promotes those with commercial success rather than those with talent or innovation. I don’t know if I totally agree- there’s Don Paterson winning the Forward Prize, for instance. I do feel, though it’s maybe just green cheese, that it’s hard, if you’re not well connected, to break through to get recognition, or work.

    jb says: I think I did understand his point, Hugh. And it is a great pity that most of the prestigious prizes seem to follow the money.

  3. Susan Malter says:

    I found this old post today while doing a search using “literary blog scots.” I am afraid that the 2009 date means that I am talking to myself. I like the Pritchett quote and your voice. I am now going to read more–of you, I hope.

  4. john baker says:

    You never talk to yourself here, Susan. Thanks for the comment.

  5. john baker says:

    You’re never talking to yourself here, Susan.