Scotland as a space of the imagi-nation in Alasdair Gray's Poor Things

Title: Scotland as a space of the imagi-nation in Alasdair Gray's Poor Things
Source document: Brno studies in English. 2010, vol. 36, iss. 1, pp. [147]-154
  • ISSN
    0524-6881 (print)
    1805-0867 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license

Notice: These citations are automatically created and might not follow citation rules properly.

The purpose of this paper is to examine Alasdair Gray's vision of Scotland as a space of a nation that imagines itself, relying on literary creations of its history instead of embracing its actual past. In Poor Things (1992), Gray depicts his country as a narrative construct (a place constructed of narratives), where history has been falsified and replaced by fictionalised versions of the Scottish past. This concept is explored both on the level of content and form, as the novel's structural and formal diversity serves to further undermine the notion of historical truth and examine the tensions between history, memory, identity and literature. This paper will analyse the idea of Scotland as a palimpsestic reality that is constructed of different narratives of the past, show how and why the author creates such a literary space, and discuss its implications for modern Scottish identity.
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