By David Robb
In his day, Alexander Scott (1920-1989) was once some of the most admired of Scotland's poets, popular for witty, passionate, energetic poems - poems embodying his excessive beliefs of poetic craftsmanship. His poems have been additionally one of the such a lot exciting in their time. Scott's fulfillment, although, stretched wider nonetheless. His poetry was once the center-piece of a lifetime's dedication to Scotland's literature and tradition, a dedication which took many types and was once expressed in lots of methods. Scott took a lead in constructing Scottish literature as a contemporary topic, laying the rules for its current prominence within the Scottish educational scene. moreover, he used to be a dramatist, actor, anthologist, pupil, critic, editor, broadcaster, columnist, and controversialist. He was once additionally lively in lots of very important and creative tasks following the production of the Scottish Arts Council within the Sixties. a special character, Alexander Scott embodied a lot that used to be very important in his country's post-war tradition. In his tale, the form of contemporary Scotland emerges. this can be the 1st significant biography of a highly influential determine within the Scottish literary scene within the twentieth century. This ebook is the joint winner of the celebrated Scottish examine ebook of the yr 2007 from the Saltire Society and the nationwide Library of Scotland.
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Extra info for Auld Campaigner: A Life of Alexander Scott
Of Blackfriars School first appear. The Blackfriars adventures eventually took over the magazine, though at the outset they were only half a dozen pages long. ’15 Other ‘schools’ emerged in other stories, however—St James’ and St Tony’s in particular. Scott writes of the development of these tales as if each school and its characters were real but locked in combat with its so-similar rivals in a competition for supremacy within the inky sheets. He describes the conflict between them with all the attention to detail of a regimental historian.
He, too, was cheerful as he recounted these liaisons, especially those of his girl-obsessed fourth year at school. By his fifth year, he was quite the weekend man-about-town: 13 Auld Campaigner Every Saturday evening we patrolled Union Street, meeting and conversing with cronies, trying to ‘get off’ with every good-looking girl we saw. 31 In the autobiography, we already find him aware of the gap, upon which various later poems are built, between the glamour of sex appeal and the mundane reality behind it.
In his fifth year at the Central, Scott started an ambitious class magazine with Hamish Lawrie, his closest friend by the time he left school. In their sixth year, the pair embarked on an anti-war book of satirical essays and short stories, Down With the Pacifists. 34 His ideal of companionship, however, was not confined to the intensities of one-to-one friendships. It was just as important for him to be at the centre of a lively, coherent group and also to feel strongly part of and supported by the institution—school or university—to which he belonged.