By Kirsten Stirling
Bella Caledonia: girl, kingdom, textual content appears on the frequent culture of utilizing a feminine determine to symbolize the state, targeting 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 common points of the trope resembling the protecting mom kingdom and the lady as fertile land, that are evidently complex from a feminist standpoint. yet darker implications, buried within the lengthy heritage of the determine, upward thrust to the skin in Scotland, similar to woman/nation as sufferer, and woman/nation as deformed or huge. due to Scotland's strange prestige as a state in the better entity of serious Britain, the literary figures into account listed here are by no means easily incarnations of a convinced and whole state nurturing her warrior sons. really, they mirror a extra smooth nervousness concerning the notion of the country, and include a and divided nationwide id. Kirsten Stirling strains the advance of the twentieth-century Scotland-as-woman determine via readings of poetry and fiction via 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)
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. In all but name Coila corresponds to many of the conventions and complexities of the muse as nation, and this shift in focus from the national to the local highlights the way in which the Scottish muse is often rather out of focus, unable to correspond entirely to the models of woman as nation that are available for imitation.
But this rejection of domesticity is related to the process of creativity and not necessarily to subject matter. The domestic female 40 Chapter Two in the text becomes a necessary corollary to the virile profile of the Renaissance poets. The fact that the pantheon of the Scottish Renaissance has until some recent re-evaluations been almost entirely male may be related to the wider literary phenomenon of gendered canon formations. Although there were undoubtedly more successful male than female writers in the period, literary criticism is now beginning to uncover and reintegrate the female writers who were active in the period.
But naturally, the implication of the figure of the female muse is that the poets will be her sons, and not her daughters. The model of nation that is established around the figure of the female nation, not only defines the role of citizen as male by default, but also the role of poet. 137). Women are clearly excluded from this model of national literature: symbolically they do not belong to the nation and they cannot write about it either. ” Although Graves goes on to qualify his claim – “this is not to say that a woman should refrain from writing poems; only, that she should write as a woman, not as if she were an honorary man” – it is clear that the consciously creative position of “poet” is defined as exclusively male (Graves  1961: 446–47).
Bella Caledonia: Woman, Nation, Text. (SCROLL: Scottish Cultural Review of Language & Literature) by Kirsten Stirling