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SCOTNOTES Study Guides

The Poetry of

Alan Riach

Published in: Paperback.
By: Association for Scottish Literary Studies, 1999
Price: £5.95
ISBN 978-0-948877-40-7

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Hugh MacDiarmid (born Christopher Murray Grieve) is a huge, and still controversial, figure in modern Scottish literature. Called variously “the most important figure in Scottish life in the twentieth century” and “a symbol of all that’s perfectly hideous in Scotland”, his poetry is of historic, and national, significance.

Alan Riach’s Scotnote outlines MacDiarmid’s life and work, providing an overview of the poet’s beliefs, opinions and influences, for senior school pupils and students at all levels.


  • Introduction
    • Hugh MacDiarmid: a short biography
    • Macdiarmid and the Modern Movement: International Themes and Contexts
    • MacDiarmid and Modern Scottish Literature: Rediscovering National Traditions
  • Critical Readings
    1. Wonder and Mystery, Love and Death
    2. Political Themes
    3. Visions of Hope: Nation and Identity
    4. Advanced Study
  • Further Reference
  • Bibliography


Last updated 20 October 2010.