By Andrew Duncan
In Centre and outer edge in sleek British Poetry, Andrew Duncan increases the provocative query of simply how accurate—and useful—the inspiration of a British literary tradition is for a state that stretches over six hundred miles and comprises 4 unique nationwide cultures. He identifies detailed nearby poetic traditions in Scotland, Wales, and the north of britain, reading writers equivalent to Glyn Jones, Joseph Macleod, and Colin Simms and coming to the startling end that the best British poets of contemporary a long time have lived now not on the center of "British" literary society, yet within the outlands of the British Isles.
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Extra resources for Centre and Periphery in Modern British Poetry (Liverpool University Press - Liverpool English Texts & Studies)
It may be highly significant that one person in Glasgow reads only Scottish books, rejecting anything English. In fact, such a diet makes someone highly aware of the problems LUP_Duncan_02_Ch 2 38 18/11/04, 9:18 am 39 besetting Scottish writers, and the most ardent followers of the national art are those most aware of its limitations, and the most political about the factors that bring about the limits. Resort to American culture may be a way of expressing distaste for English culture, and there is a specific Scottish way of consuming American culture in this complex of emotions, which cannot be equated with being pro-American.
S. Eliot, Ezra Pound or Edith Sitwell. Even the fact that a minority are desperate to acquire these traits, and regard them as ‘superior’, while the majority neither desire them nor look up to them, parallels the features of educated speech. They are consensual only within range of the more exalted English departments. This poetry rewards those who possess the qualities valued in higher education, while withholding rewards from those who lack these qualities (and cannot decode the verse), so it can be equated with the upper middle class; the raising and belonging sort of poetry rewards the qualities valued by schoolteachers, so can be equated with the lower middle class.
Recognising the legitimacy of what denies you is a mark of sanity. Is sanity possible when what exerts authority is vindictive, petty, numb, partisan, suffering from avarice of the soul, and hence illegitimate? Speech is self-presentation, in a public sounding chamber which constantly shows selves up as stupid, lazy, intelligent, talented, and so on. It is loaded with personal information that makes us vulnerable, arousing our defences. Poetry is enhanced speech, and is related to arts such as dance and clothes design, and is governed by self-presentation and the fear of being laughed at.