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The Raucle Tongue: Volume Two

Hugh MacDiarmid

Edited by Alan Riach

Cover Picture of The Raucle Tongue: Volume Two
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This title is available for academic inspection (paperback only).
Hardback
ISBN: 978 1 857542 71 4
Imprint: Lives and Letters
Published: October 1997
225 x 145 x 43 mm
320 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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  • Excerpt
  • Author
  • Reviews
  • For ilka thing a man can be or think or dae
    Aye leaves a million mair unbeen, unthocht, undune,
    Till his puir warped performance is,
    To a' that micht ha' been, a thistle to the mune.
    Quarried from newspapers and journals, in which Hugh MacDiarmid (C.M.Grieve) wrote under a variety of pseudonyms, this collection -- the second -- reflects his enduring interests and eclectic range of concerns.

    On the centenary of his birth in 1992, Carcanet launched the 14-volume MacDiarmid 2000 programme, to bring into print all of Hugh MacDiarmid's major writings. This is the ninth volume. Launching the series at Waterstone's, Edinburgh, Iain Crichton Smith declared:
    `MacDiarmid had nothing to lose. He had nothing material to lose. MacDiarmid was very poor for most of his life. There was nothing that anyone could do to him, and he was in a position therefore to be able to tell the truth in a way that the bourgeoisie -- many of us maybe, involved in bourgeois professions -- were or are not able to do. He was frightened of nobody. Therefore he could be quite ruthless with the establishment, for the establishment could give him nothing that he wanted... All he had to protect was his ideas and his poetry and his genius. . . . He was also, by the nature of things, a very lonely man, aware of his own genius -- and to be a genius in Scotland must be like being a leprechaun in a graveyard. . . . MacDiarmid was an open
    door
    .'

    It is in writings like those collected here that MacDiarmid spoke most freely and suggestively. He was unable to conform, to toe the line, to join committees and groups. Whatever his declared politics (and he declared his politics in many different ways) he was at heart a deeply humane anarchist.
    Hugh MacDiarmid
    Hugh MacDiarmid (Christopher Murray Grieve) was born in 1892 at Langholm in the Scottish Borders. After training as a teacher, he worked as a journalist, before serving in France and Greece during the First World War. Returning to Scotland, he worked as a journalist, and in 1922 began to publish poems ... read more
    Alan Riach
    Alan Riach is a poet, teacher and critic, and the general editor of Carcanet’s Collected Works of Hugh MacDiarmid . ... read more
    Praise for Hugh MacDiarmid 'Watch him, an angel's set his tongue on fire.'
    Norman MacCaig
    'Lord God, this fellow is a poet, singing a song even when pain seizes him, or the woe of the world murmurs in his heart'
    Sean O'Casey
    'Every door in any town should be wide open to that great lyric poet Hugh MacDiarmid.'
    Dylan Thomas
    'These great people like MacDiarmid are a bit scary, '
    Liz Lochhead
    'Riach has done Scottish literature a great service in masterminding the Carcanet edition of the works of Hugh MacDiarmid...'
    Times Literary Supplement
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