Scotland the Brave?
Scotland the Brave? Deconstructing Nationalism in Contemporary Scottish Novels
ISBN 978-3-86821-664-6, 284 S., kt., € 32,50 (2016)
Prior to the independence referendum in September 2014, Scottish novels offered a fictional representation of the Scottish society which deconstructs the alleged homogeneity of the nation and mythical notions of a glorified Scottish past. An essentialised notion of ‘Scottishness’ has been traditionally defined by conceptual oppositions, mainly in its alleged difference and ambiguous relationship to ‘Englishness’. This book explores how selected Scottish novels of the devolution period reveal the obsolescence of these oppositions, and how fiction can provide counter-narratives of the ‘imagined community’ that is the Scottish nation. By close-reading novels by Scottish authors like, among others, Alan Warner, James Robertson, Irvine Welsh, Iain Banks, Jackie Kay and Duncan McLean, Marie Hologa investigates how topics such as racism, sexism or controversial questions of the nation’s colonial past are negotiated in Scottish fiction of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
"Hologa examines how such topics as racism, sexism, and the colonial legacy have been 'negotiated' in works by Warner, Robertson, Welsh, Banks, Kay, MacLean and others. Hologa herself negotiates the minefield well, raising theoretical issues but also making clear her admiration for the imaginative power of individual novels. Her study deserves to read by Scottish critics as well as those outside Scotland, for the comments and fresh perspective it provides on individual texts, as well as for its general argument."
Patrick Scott, Studies in Scottish Literature 43.2 (2017)