“s na cnàmhan gu bhith ris | a-nis' [and the bones almost showing through | now]: reading contemporary Gaelic poetry

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Abstract

What is the relationship to the 'contemporary' — to the 'now' — in Scottish Gaelic poetry? How are the idea of the ‘present’, the minoritized status of Gaelic, and the evolving relationship between language and landscape (and language and meaningless) figured in poems? Taking these questions as a starting point, this essay explores — through the ideas of Agamben, Latour, and Christopher Whyte — a range of contemporary poems by Gaelic writers (including Meg Bateman, Ruaraidh MacThòmais, Whyte, Rody Gorman, Angus Peter Campbell, and Deborah Moffatt), and the ways in which the poets respond — in anger, with humour, with defiance — to linguistic and environmental crises, to the pressures associated with oblivion and translation, and to the pervasive surrounding fug of English.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-123
Number of pages19
JournalYearbook of English Studies
Volume51
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2021

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