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Kathleen JamieEssays and Poems on Her work$
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Rachel Falconer

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748696000

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748696000.001.0001

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Mr and Mrs Scotland Are Taking a Vacation in the Autonomous Region

Mr and Mrs Scotland Are Taking a Vacation in the Autonomous Region

(p.21) 2. Mr and Mrs Scotland Are Taking a Vacation in the Autonomous Region
Kathleen Jamie

Alan Riach

Edinburgh University Press

In the work of Jamie, Scotland is contextualised with co-ordinate points that arise from the foundations of her understanding of socially gendered, power-structured identities, in which nationality is only one redefinable part. In Mr and Mrs Scotland Are Dead, the promise of mortal demise delivered upon conventional, reactionary, intimidated articulations of 'Scottishness' is complemented by fully-charged assertions of value in social, gendered and regenerated self-determination. The poems deliver nuanced explorations of experience being discovered, tentatively, as well as inhabited, fully. The ideas and locations take her far from Scotland but as the title insists, her native country is not, by these works, erased. This dynamic in Jamie's writing extends to her prose, where her sensitivity to particularities and power of critical judgement combine in situations of hard extremity and of liminality and transition. Her work brings together some of the most delicate perceptions and argumentative, oppositional propositions, in modern Scottish writing. In connection with the theme of Scottishness, this essay addresses the use of Scots language in Jamie's work. Attention is paid to the ways she threads together Scottish and Tibetan history and politics, by giving Scots voices to historical Chinese and Tibetan travellers, in The Autonomous Region.

Keywords:   Kathleen Jamie, Scots language, The Autonomous Region, Scottishness, Liminality, Tibetan history

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