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‘To “meddle wi’ the thistle”’: The Scottish Chapbook, Modernism, and Renaissance

Lyall, Scott



The first number of The Scottish Chapbook was published in August 1922 and the journal ran until November/December 1923. The most important of MacDiarmid’s several journal projects, it is significant in several ways. Edited by C. M. Grieve, the first edition of the Chapbook contained the first publication attributed to Hugh M’Diarmid: ‘Nisbet: An Interlude in Post-War Glasgow’; Grieve’s editorials announced and conceptualised the Scottish literary renaissance; and the journal’s first appearance in 1922, along with Grieve’s radical aims for Scottish literature, mark it as an important Scottish contribution to Modernism. This paper will offer a reassessment of The Scottish Chapbook in light of Grieve’s editorial aims for the journal in The Chapbook Programme and his objectives as outlined in his editorial Causeries for the revival of Scottish life and letters, as well as assessing to what extent the other contributors matched Grieve’s aim with the Chapbook to shake up Scottish literature in modernist vein, or ‘to “meddle wi’ the thistle”’.

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name MacDiarmid at 100
Start Date Aug 31, 2022
End Date Aug 31, 2022
Deposit Date Aug 29, 2022
Public URL