By Kirsten Stirling

Bella Caledonia: girl, kingdom, textual content seems to be on the common culture of utilizing a feminine determine to symbolize the state, concentrating on twentieth-century Scottish literature. The woman-as-nation determine emerged in Scotland within the 20th century, yet as a literary determine instead of an institutional icon like Britannia or France's Marianne. Scottish writers utilize everyday features of the trope resembling the protecting mom kingdom and the girl as fertile land, that are evidently challenging from a feminist standpoint. yet darker implications, buried within the lengthy historical past of the determine, upward thrust to the skin in Scotland, akin to woman/nation as sufferer, and woman/nation as deformed or giant. because of Scotland's strange prestige as a state in the better entity of serious Britain, the literary figures into account listed below are by no means easily incarnations of a convinced and whole state nurturing her warrior sons. fairly, they mirror a extra sleek anxiousness in regards to the notion of the state, and include a bothered and divided nationwide id. Kirsten Stirling strains the advance of the twentieth-century Scotland-as-woman determine via readings of poetry and fiction by way of female and male writers together with Hugh MacDiarmid, Naomi Mitchison, Neil Gunn, Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Willa Muir, Alasdair grey, A.L. Kennedy, Ellen Galford and Janice Galloway.

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Additional info for Bella Caledonia: Woman, Nation, Text. (SCROLL: Scottish Cultural Review of Language & Literature)

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Roderick Watson identifies Gibbon’s Chris Guthrie with “Alba as a place outside time in which ultimate truth can be found in the spirit of place and by (feminine) intuition, rather than through reason, intellect and masculine control” (Watson 1992: 259). The specifically feminine virtues associated with the “spirit of place” 54 Chapter Two preserve the “true” national spirit and are located outside the sphere of civil society, removed from the male world of politics and religion. Women of Scotland: Willa Muir and Naomi Mitchison The most high-profile female representative of the Scottish National Party in the late twentieth century was Winnie Ewing, SNP MP for Hamilton 1967–70, and for Moray and Nairn 1974–79, and, from 1975 onwards, member of the European Parliament, where she has been dubbed “Madame Ecosse”.

He highlights their strangeness by his acknowledgement of all the original sources and languages from which he has drawn them, and they retain some element of that strangeness. They are translated into Scottish muses and adapted to MacDiarmid’s purposes, but they are never fully assimilated into their new context, and remain slightly awkward in their new roles. The woman representing nation, as discussed by Marina Warner, is supposed to be whole, closed, limited. She represents one thing, the nation, and her wholeness reproduces the wholeness and the impermeability of the borders of the nation.

Burns makes an extended allegorical use of Scotland as a woman just once, in a poem titled “Caledonia” (1794) (Burns 1979: 363–65), where Caledonia appears as an Amazon-like warrior woman who battles with a series of allegorical enemy figures including the “Anglian lion” and the “Scandinavian boar”. 43–48)! Burns also briefly addresses Scotia in the penultimate stanza of “The Cotter’s Saturday Night’ (1785) (Burns 1979: 116–21): “O Scotia! My dear, my native soil! 172–75). Burns’s failure to repeat the invocation of a national muse in the much longer poem “The Vision” may suggest an uneasiness regarding the personification of Scotland in female form.

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