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Dear Diana,

I've read every Rankin novel.  I love them because I always know where
he is.  If you have not read McIllvaney, see if you can find the Laidlaw
novels--only three beginning with "Laidlaw."   (His others are not
detective novels.) His best known novel is "Docherty," and all are set
in Glasgow--quite different from Edinburgh.

Also, if you can find it, J. Derrick McClure's "Why Scots Matters" will
give you an extremely informed overview of Scots as a language and the
reasons it is treated differently historically.  I just looked at it
again and was delighted the he points to Glasgow and the Northeast also
as the most unlike standard English; that is my own experience from
living in Scotland.
Cheers,
Nancy
>>> Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]> 03/21/08 1:31 PM >>>

Nancy, how generous you are! I'm grateful for the information you supply
and will print and study it.
 
There is a wonderful BBC detective series called "Rebus" which is set in
and around Edinburgh. I've seen them all. 
 
They are based on the Inspector Rebus detective novels by Ian Rankin.
The novels, centred on the title character Detective Inspector John
Rebus, are set in and around Edinburgh. Rankin said he named his
detective Rebus as a subtle reference to Inspector Morse, but later met
a man in a pub whose last name was Rebus. It is a Polish name, so in
some of the shows Rebus refers to his grandparents coming to Scotland
from Gdansk. 
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inspector_Rebus
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detective_Inspector_John_Rebus
 
Four series have been aired. All of the episodes are available on DVD. I
rented them from Netflix.
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebus_%28TV_series%29
 
I think you would enjoy these programs if you haven't seen them. Cheers,
Diana
> Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2008 10:59:04 -0400> From: [log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: "Zietgeist" (Was Inventions of the March Hare )> To:
[log in to unmask]> > Dear Diana,> > I'm delighted that you care about
this and want to know more. So sorry> but here's more. > > I have no
doubt at all that you can find books and websites that include> Scots
with English. There are two main reasons for that. First,> Northumbrian
and Mercian are both Anglo-Saxon and the term used for them> both was
"Inglis." That is, they were different dialects of what was a> form of
Germanic language called "Inglis" for both. So the conflation> of the
term "Inglis" with what became modern English seems to> incorporate
Scots. But that is just about naming. The significant> point is that
they were separate dialects of a Germanic language that> were already
separate as far back as any texts exist, and they developed> separately.
> > The second reason is that a very long time it was believed that
Scots> was merely a version (and a degraded one) of English. It was only
in> the 19th century with increasingly knowledge of the history of
language> that the history started being re-examined. Even Scots in the
18th> century, for example, believed it, but there were many scholars
who did> not, and the introduction to Jamieson's 1808 edition is a great
example> of the resistance to that even before the philology made it
clear. But> current scholars of Scots language have the long history to
demonstrate> it. Moreover, the long hegemony of England over Scotland
sustained a> notion of English as somehow primary, and it became so
economically, but> that has nothing to do with its origins OR with the
fact that it is> still spoken all over Scotland in various degrees. In
Edinburgh High> Street shops, for example, you will hear a
Scots-accented English, but> you could go to villages in Fife or the
Northeast and find it very hard> to understand a word--the same for a
Glasgow pub. Scholars of language> all over Scotland, however, would
never say that it is just a version of> English except in the historical
sense that English is also a version of> Scots. So that claim in books
and websites is the ignorance of a long> history of appropriation.> >
WHighlands were, until the late 18th/ early 19th C, before the>
Clearances, Gaelic speaking, not Scots speaking or English speaking. >
Sorley Maclean, for example, wrote in Gaelic and translated his own>
poems. I once heard him read, and it is beautiful. Scotland has three>
languages: Scots, Gaelic, and English. And the language in Rankin or>
McIllvaney or other Scots writers will include dialects of Scots, not>
dialects of English, because Scots is not just a dialect of English. >
But the language and sounds are extremely varied, and some--like
Glasgow> or Northeast Doric are more different and take longer to follow
than> others. So the term "dialect" has to clearly distinguish the fact
of> many dialects of Scots from the notion that Scots is a dialect of>
English in the way, for example, that Downeast speech is a dialect of>
American English or that the speech of the Queen is one dialect of>
English, which it is. This historic sources make the distinction of>
Scots/English different from, say, American/English.> > If you want to
read a passage of braid Scots (broad Scots) that is very> beautiful,
read the opening of Lewis Grassic Gibbons's SUNSET SONG.> > And brava!
to you for caring about it,> Nancy> > >>> Diana Manister
<[log in to unmask]> 03/21/08 9:47 AM >>>> > Nancy I have been
thinking seriously about what you wrote yesterday> about Middle Scots
and first of all want to thank you for holding my> feet to the fire on
this issue.> > In replying to Carrol's objection to my use of
"zeitgeist" I was> focussed on defending it as a definition of the
"différance" between> texts produced in different historical periods
in contrast to the> universal or mythic deep structure they may share.>
> (I was thinking in terms of Joyce's Ulysses, which shares the deep>
structure of a hero's homecoming with Homer's tale. The difference>
between Homer's telling of the story and Joyce's is in a signBut I did
toss off that remark about the Scots ballad being a subset of> the
English thoughtlessly, even though I have found numerous books and>
websites on old ballads that include the Scots with the English.> > I
have printed out your message below and will study it. I can't tell> you
how grateful I am for you and other members on this list who call me> on
my sloppy usage. No sarcasm intended. You guys help me to clarify my>
thinking and become more precise in my writing.> > I do have an intense
interest in language; David Boyd sent me a> dictionary of colloquial
Cumbrian dialect that I just love, as I do the> East Midlands dialect
Lawrence uses in his poems and novels set in> Nottingam and Hardy's
"Wessex" dialect. One of the great joys of the> mystery novels starring
the Scots detective that your recommended were> the samples of
contemporaneous native dialect. > > I have watched every episode of
"Monarch of the Glen" more than once> because I love to listen to its
characters who speak Highlands dialect!> > Again, many thanks! Diana> >
Well yes, I do want to get very accurate about it.> > It is not>
laughable; it is accurate history of language. Scottish> ballads are
not> a subset of anything. In fact most of the ballads from> the United>
Kingdom are from the Scottish Borders and most historians of> poetry>
would see them as one of the major poetic creations of Scotland. >>
Scotland was until 1707 an independent nation and when the kingdoms>>
united, it remained in many ways separate: Scottish law and the Church>>
of Scotland, for example, have always remained separate. "LOL" is>>
condescending--and, frankly, offensive--apart from implying a false>
idea> of literary history, and I think you would find any Scottish>
history of> ballads hardly imagining them a "subset"--whatever that>
would mean. > Moreover, I think it time everyone was a great deal more>
accurate about> it. Significantly, there is now (for nearly a decade) a>
Scottish> discussion session at MLA and a Scottish literature section
in> the> bibliography. Scotland, moreover, now has a separate
parliament> again> fothe Collins> Encyclopedia of Scotland says "they> form the bulk of
Scotland's folk> literature, described by an American> critic as
'unsurpassed by any in> the world.'" They were collected and> written
down by Child, Burns,> Walter Scott, and recently Edinburgh"s> Scottish
Studies department,> especially Hamish Henderson, but they had a> long
prior history as oral> poetry in the Scottish Borders.> > The language
also is not a "subset"> of anything. Anglo-Saxon had four> dialects:
Northumbrian, Kentish, West> Saxon, and Mercian. Middle Scots> came from
Northumbrian and developed> into modern Scots. Middle English> of
Chaucer was from Mercian and that> developed into modern English. >
Scots was separate from as far back as> any text is known in
Anglo-Saxon;> it did not develop from English. In> fact, the oldest text
in> Anglo-Saxon is "Caedmon's Hymn," which was> first in Northumbrian.
So it> makes just as much sense historically and> linguistically to see
English> as a subset of Scots as the opposite. But> neither would be
accurate. > If you want to know something about it,> just look at the
four huge> volumes of Jamieson's Etymological> Dictionary of the
Scottish Language> and see the immense vocabulary that> does not exist
in English--as well> as the sounds and rhythms and> idioms. Try to get a
feel for "sonsy" and> "couthy" and "scunner" and> "antrin" and "wheesht"
and "bool" and> "broukit" and "byspale" and the> sounds of "the Sauchs
in the Reuch Heuch> Hauch" before laughing out> loud at what you have
apparently never read. > > I find this so wrong> and so inaccurately
mocking of a great literary> tradition that I am> amazed to see it from
you. I think you might try> reading some of> Scotland's long history of
great poetry and look> especially at modern> and contemporary poets like
Hugh MacDiarmid, > Sorley Maclean, Tom> Leonard, Edwin Morgan, Liz
Lochhead, Kathleen Jamie,> Carol Ann DufJackie Kay. I am sorry, but it
is disgraceful for> anyone who cares> about poetry to laugh at an entire
tradition and treat> it as a joke.> Since I have spent many years
studying it, I find it> astonishing. I> realize I am using strong
language, but "LOL" and> "subset" are both> false and demeaning.> Nancy>
> >>> Diana Manister> <[log in to unmask]> 03/20/08 4:36 PM >>>> >
Well yeah, if you want> to get all accurate about it! LOL. Scottish>
Ballads are a subset of> English Ballads in most compendia.> > Diana>
Date: Thu, 20 Mar 2008> 13:11:39 -0400> From: [log in to unmask]>>
Subject: Re: "Zietgeist"> (Was Inventions of the March Hare )> To:>
[log in to unmask]> > Dear> Diana,> > My point is that "Sir Patrick>
Spence" is not in Middle> English; it is in> Middle Scots.> Nancy > >
>>>> Diana Manister> <[log in to unmask]> 03/20/08 12:49 PM >>>> > >
Sorry,> I don't know> why I wrote "spoken English" in my previous
message.> My> bad. Diana> >> > > > Nancy, I should have written "more
pronounced German> elements in>> English." That's an unintended pun!
Middle English shows> its German>> origins more than modern English.>
Date: Thu, 20 Mar 2008> 11:21:10>> -0400> From: [log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: "Zietgeist"> (Was>> Inventions of the March Hare )> To:
[log in to unmask]> > I'm not>> sure> what you mean by "the elements of
German in daily speech,"> but>> that is> misleading here. The ballad is
in Scots, which developed>> from>> Northumbrian. Modern English
developed from Mercian. Both have>>> elements> of German, and in Scots
the sound changes developed later> and>> less> completely than in modern
English. But words like "milk,">> "house,">> "glass," "wine" remain
cognates in English and German. My>> point is that>> this is not English
with some "elements of German": it>> is Scots with>> some sounds and
words that are Germanic--since all>> Anglo-Saxon was a>> Germanic
language. Modern Scots retains, for>> example, three sounds that>> do
not exist in modern English: the sounds>> of "licht," "loch" and>>
"muir."> Nancy> >>> Diana Manister>> <[log in to unmask]> 03/20/10:44 AM >>>> > > Carrol,> > Language>> enacts the history of its time;>
it's a time capsule. It> provides more>> information than was
recognized> by the writer. Just as> when a> snapshot> is taken, neither
the subjects> nor the photographer> could> know how> strange hairstyles
and clothing and> the 1938 Ford will> look> to those> looking at the
picture in the future.>> > "THE king sits in> Dumferling> toune,>
Drinking the blude-reid wine:> ‘O> whar will I get> guid sailor,>> To
sail this schip of mine?’> > Up and> spak an eldern> knicht,> Sat at>
the kings richt kne:> ‘Sir Patrick Spence> is the best> sailor> That>
sails upon the se.’"> > Sailing ships, knights,> the king,> the
smallness> of a world in which the> best sailors were> well-known,> and
many other> factors of the culture of> that time, not the> least of>
which are the> elements of German in daily> speech, are> communicated
in> just first> stanzas from "Sir Patrick Spens."> > Another> ballad,
having> the same> deep structure of describing a hero, is> the>
following:> >> "Born on a> mountain top in Tennessee,> Greenest state
in> the land of> the free.>> Raised in the woods so's he knew every
tree,>> Killed him a> b'ar when he> was only three.> Davy, Davy
Crockett> King of> the Wild> Frontier."> >> "West Side Story" and
Shakespeare's "Romeo and> Juliet"> tell the same>> story of lovers
facing the same obstacles, in> other> words they have> the> same deep
structure. Everything else is>> zeitgeist.> > The I Ching> is based on
the metaphysical belief that>> "everything that> occurs in a> moment
partakes of that moment." Whether>> you share that> belief or not,> you
cannot deny that language>> incorporates its historical> period. Or,> to
put it another way,> history> is inseparable from language.> > I> regret
using the word> "zeitgeist;" it> invites ridicule. No one uses it>>
anymore, but it does> say what I mean:>> > American Heritage New>
Dictionary of Cultural> Literacy, Third Edition:>> Zeitgeist "The
general> moral, intellectual,> and cultural climate of an>> era;
Zeitgeist is> German for> "time-spirit." For example, the Zeitgeist>> of
England in the> Victorian> period included a belief in industrial>>
progress, and the> Zeitgeist of> the 1980s in the United States was a>>
belief in the power> of money and> the many ways in which to spend it.">
>> Analyzing a work> of art for a> manifest point-to-point
correspondence>> with events such> as the> storming of the winter
palace, or the general>> strike or> lynchings in> the south ignores the
condensation found in the>> language> of art. Even> the most linear
thinker has dreams in which>> logical> connections are> replaced by
simultaneity in time. > > Julia> Kristeva> writes in> Language The
Unknown that dreapainter who, in a picture of the> school> of Athens or
of Parnassus,>> represents in one group all the>> philosphers or all the
poets. It is> true> that they were never in fact>> assembled in a single
hall or on a> single> mountaintop; but they>> certainly form a
group...."> > Whether> Eliot placed any credence in>> Freudian theory or
not, if Freud> was> art language and dream> language,>> Eliot's poetry
would exhibit Freudian> insights (birds are> not>> ornithologists.)> >
Freud wrote: "Dreams are> brief, meagre and> laconic> in comparison
with> the range and wealth of> the> dream-thoughts." The> extreme
dream-symbols parallels that of> literary> symbols, which likewise> are>
over-determined and represent in> a single> symbol contents that> "are>
often widely divergent in their> nature."> >> So that lynchings in> the
south may be expressed in a> multi-valent> symbol> or image whose>
ostensible referent is not slavery> but which is> partly> determined by>
the existence of lyncings in the> south. > > Van> Gogh's dreams, like
his> paintings, would necessarily> include horses,>> carriages, gas
lamps and> absinthe, while a painter in> our time would>> dream and
paint out of an> experience of orbiting spy> satellites,> video> games,
cell phones and> computers. Both dreams might> have the> same deep>
content, i.e., tell finds ways to have its> say.> > Diana> > >> Diana Manister> wrote:> > >
> At least in TWL the> zeitgeist speaks.> >> Carrol wrote:>> > 1. I
would challenge the existence> of any such entity>> as the>>
"Zeitgeist." Any age I know of exhibits too> large a variety of>>>
fractured> spirits to speak of _A_ spirit of the> age. Put otherwise,>
I>> don't even> know what "spirit of the age" could> conceivably mean.>
It>> seems utterly> empty of content.> > 2. Eliot did> explicitly deny>
that>> TWL expressed some spirit of> disillusinment of> the age or>
something>> like that. Nancy or Marcia could> probably be more>
explicit> on this,>> citing the text and correcting my> sloppiness
here.>> > 3.> What does> The> Zeitgeist say? Storming of the Winter
Palace? The>>> General> Strike?> Lynchings in the South? (TWL follows by
only a> couple>> decades> Twain's> masterpieces, "The United States of>
Lyncherdom" and> "To> The> Person> Sitting in Darkness." The>
resignation, protesting> Wilson's> War> Policy,> of William Jennings>
Bryan: that is his true> heritage, not> the> stupid> trial? My great>
uncle, who organized> sheepherders in Montana>> for the> IWW. Beginning>
of the (hopeless?)> struggle to end English 1> (its>> inventor called
it> the greatest mistake> of his life)? The murder> of> Rosa> Luxemberg?
The> Easter Rebellion? The> failure to hang the> various> war> criminals
(all> responsible politicians> of Germany,> France, England,> &> U.S.)>
Imprisonment of Gene Debs?> Freeing of Gene> Debs by the only> honest>>
u.s. president in the 205h c.> -- Warren G.> Harding?> > 4. When> did>
this Zeitgeist leap into> existence, and when> did it sink> into the>>
grave? Would we recognize it> were we to meet it> walking down a> dark>>
alley?> > And so forth.> >> Carrol>>>>
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