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Appears in Collections:Literature and Languages Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: On Vernacular Scottishness and its Limits: Devolution and the Spectacle of 'Voice'
Author(s): Hames, Scott
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Keywords: vernacular
Scottish parliament
Scottish nationalism
Scottish identity
Scots language
Irvine Welsh
James Kelman
Alex Salmond
Issue Date: 2013
Date Deposited: 24-Apr-2013
Citation: Hames S (2013) On Vernacular Scottishness and its Limits: Devolution and the Spectacle of 'Voice'. Studies in Scottish Literature, 39 (1), pp. 201-222, Art. No.: 16.
Abstract: 'Voice' has been a key motifs in Scottish literary and political discourse of the past few decades. This article explores the ambivalence of voice as a trope for national expression and empowerment, and considers the complex appeal of "vernacular" rhetoric during the period, and within the limits, of Scottish devolution. In critical discourse which elides literary and democratic claims to voice during this period, Scottish vernacular writing functions both as a soulful emblem of suppressed agency, and a flexible "display identity" within a spectacle of cultural difference. Conceiving devolution as a granting-of-voice on these terms, I argue, tends to re-inscribe the containment logic of 1970s UK centralism, releasing/locking Scottish cultural production into reified postures of "representation" which leave uncontested the constitution of representative power. The ambivalence of 'voice' and the complex interplay of over-lapping rhetorics of Scottish 'vernacularity' (democratic, romantic, identitarian) are examined with particular reference to two key novelists of the 'new Scottish renaissance', James Kelman and Irvine Welsh.
Rights: Publisher allows this work to be made available in this repository. Published by University of South Carolina with the following policy: Author retains the rights for posting of the article on the internet as part of a non-commercial open access institutional repository or other non-commercial open access publication site affiliated with the author(s)'s place of employment

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