Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Say it in Scots

"Without some kind of understanding of the Scots language, you can't really understand Scotland. It informs and infiltrates every area of social and cultural life, for virtually everyone, because everyone comes into contact with Scots at some level - that might be someone who just says “hame” or “didnae” occasionally, to someone who never speaks English at all, but Scots. But Scots has not been given official sanction for a long time."

So the novelist James Robertson told me, at a conference on the future of the Scots language at Stirling University. You can read the full piece here: Scots revival. Robertson wrote The Testament of Gideon Mack, a really dark, claustrophic but funny book which is more than dimly reminiscent of James Hogg's Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner. Should you need an instant fix of Robertson's writing, click on the link, and scroll down the Times article, where he has written a comment on my article. You will also come across the word "leitmotif".

If you didn't know, Gideon Mack enjoyed the twin distinction of being featured on Richard and Judy's Book Club, on ITV, and was nominated for the Booker Prize. In his spare time, Robertson translate children's book into Scots - like the Roald Dahl (in the pic above) and Winnie the Pooh. They are an amazing read in Scots.

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