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Durham e-Theses
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The major novels of Lewis Grassic Gibbon

Fothergill, Gillian (1980) The major novels of Lewis Grassic Gibbon. Masters thesis, Durham University.

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Abstract

James Leslie Mitchell is better remembered as Lewis Grassic Gibbon, the author of the trilogy A Scots Quair. Mitchell regarded himself as a communicator rather than an artist. His trilogy and the novels published under his own name all reflect his concern for moral and political issues and his passionate interest in the implications of Diffusionism. A Scots Quair is undoubtedly his finest achievement. Apart from his success in creating a new, sophisticated written Scots, it is superior to his other novels in that the ideas do not dominate the structure. Set in Mitchell's native area, North-eastern Scotland, the towns and villages of the Mearns become the focus for the author's analysis of both Scottish problems and the complexities of industrial life in the Depression. In this thesis I concentrate on A Scots Quair and refer to his other work only as a necessary context. The first chapter is about his life, his intellectual development and his work apart from the trilogy. In the second chapter I discuss Sunset Song, and the third and fourth chapters deal with the middle and last books of the trilogy respectively. The final chapter contains an appraisal of criticism of the trilogy. I approach the trilogy primarily through close analysis of the text because too many critics have assessed the second and third books solely within the terms of reference established in Sunset Song. A close textual analysis discloses the special 'integrities' of each novel. The separate life and literature of Scotland raise problems for the critic. Should 'English' critical norms be automatically applied to Scottish literature? Approaching the trilogy primarily through its language, I initiate a dualistic appreciation, suggesting that a work can simultaneously be a flawed 'English' novel and a successful 'Scottish' one.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1980
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Sep 2013 09:33

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