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Fringe Literature

Grappling with the Dark Ages: Max Adams at the Edinburgh Book Festival

How can we understand the past? It is a question that stretches from philosophy to biology, yet still seems infuriatingly unanswerable and is a problem that Max Adams is without doubt consumed by. The archaeologist-come-novelist has spent the past year exploring how we might come to understand people who we know so little about; that […]

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Fringe Literature

An Audience with Graham Swift at the Edinburgh Book Festival

There was a lot at play as the lights dimmed in the Baillie Gifford Main Theatre. For starters this was the Edinburgh Book Festivals opening gambit; the first big name to be welcomed to the stage. Just shy of its 20th anniversary, the Edinburgh International Book Festival is revered as the largest of its kind […]

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Culture Literature

Tennessee Williams’: Made Pilgrimage of the Flesh

‘Hell has descended on me’ wrote Tennessee William’s from his cot in Touro Infirmary: ‘retribution for all my misdoings and the things undone’. The celebrity playwright in 1953 had reached the crest of his misery; already suffering from psychological distress, alcoholism, gender confusion and paranoia as well as the physical agony of ‘thrombosed haemorrhoids’. William’s, […]

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Culture Literature

Sweet Caress

“However long your stay on this small planet lasts, and whatever happens during it, the most important thing is that – from time to time – you feel life’s sweet caress.” This fragment from Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau‘s avis de passage is how William Boyd’s latest novel comes to be framed, both in its abstraction and its […]

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Culture Literature

Philip Larkin: Life, Art and Love

It is often the way that prolific artists and authors do not receive appraisal in their own life; indeed, it may be only after the curtain call when their work becomes recognised and their character celebrated. However quite the opposite is true for one of Britain’s greatest and most controversial poets: Philip Larkin. Hailed as […]

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News

Tennessee Williams’: Made Pilgrimage of the Flesh

‘Hell has descended on me’ wrote Tennessee William’s from his cot in Touro Infirmary: ‘retribution for all my misdoings and the things undone’. The celebrity playwright in 1953 had reached the crest of his misery; already suffering from psychological distress, alcoholism, gender confusion and paranoia as well as the physical agony of ‘thrombosed haemorrhoids’. William’s, […]

Categories
Culture Literature

From Renaissance to Referendum: Poetry Culture and Politics

Scotland’s national identity has always been intertwined with art, music and most importantly, literature. From the publication of Blind Harry’s The Wallace to September 2014 by Carol Ann Duffy, lyrics of the time have shaped the idea of Scotland and vice versa. Never was this more true than in the post-war years that came to […]

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Culture Literature

Agnes Török at the Scottish Poetry Library

From lyrics written in protest of the Church by William Blake, to the haunting depictions of 9-11 by Michael Burch, poetry has always been intertwined with social commentary and political activism. Indeed the voice of a poet is never just for the individual: it speaks from and to the masses.  This is was the message […]