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George Mackay Brown and the Philosophy of Community$
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Timothy C Baker

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780748638123

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748638123.001.0001

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Sainthood-towards-Death: Magnus

Sainthood-towards-Death: Magnus

(p.58) Chapter 2 Sainthood-towards-Death: Magnus
George Mackay Brown and the Philosophy of Community

Timothy C. Baker

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter takes a look at Magnus, Brown's central work. It sheds some light on the way Brown imagines sacrifice as the centre of communal life. It studies Brown's rebalancing of the tension between spiritual and historical signification and his use of the framework of Magnus's life to study the relationship between individuals and the community. It examines the three primary narratives of the life and death of Magnus, along with the dangers of hagiography that Brown faced during his first major attempt at writing the Magnus narrative. It notes that the novel is a blend of modern and medieval styles, and looks at the nature of sacrifice and the ways Brown treats the moment of death.

Keywords:   sacrifice, communal life, life and death, hagiography, Magnus narrative, moment of death

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