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Annals of the Five Senses
Edited by Alan Riach
Categories: 20th Century, Scottish
Imprint: Lives and Letters
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Hardback (320 pages)
(Pub. Nov 1999)
Annals of the Five Senses (1923) was the first book to be published by C.M.Grieve, the man who became known as Hugh MacDiarmid. It is a collection of intense psychological studies which put us in mind of Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground. Written in the immediate aftermath of World War I, these 'studies' are acts of intellectual survival and promise, some based obliquely on his own life, others daringly prophetic. Male and female viewpoints are explored 'from the inside'.
This volume also includes MacDiarmid's short fiction - a range of stories mainly from the 1920s and 1930s, with brilliant vignettes in vernacular Scots, short plays, a ballet scenario, and hitherto unpublished material.
MacDiarmid's fiction reveals his unsuspected talents as a storyteller in genres of domestic comedy, suspense and horror, from the grand guignol and pastiche of his earliest published tales, including 'The Black Monkey' (with debts to Robert Louis Stevenson and Arthur Conan Doyle), to the devastating comedy of 'The Last Great Burns Discovery' and the poignant ambiguities of family relationships in 'Andy' and 'The Jackknife'.
RODERICK WATSON is Professor of Scottish Literature, University of Stirling.
ALAN RIACH is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Waikato, New Zealand, and General Editor of MacDiarmid 2000, of which this is the eleventh volume.
Praise for Hugh MacDiarmid 'Watch him, an angel's set his tongue on fire.'
'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'
'Every door in any town should be wide open to that great lyric poet Hugh MacDiarmid.'
'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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