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Scottish GothicAn Edinburgh Companion$
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Carol Margaret Davison and Monica Germana

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474408196

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474408196.001.0001

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Borderlands of Identity and the Aesthetics of Disjuncture: An Introduction to Scottish Gothic

Borderlands of Identity and the Aesthetics of Disjuncture: An Introduction to Scottish Gothic

Chapter:
(p.1) Chapter 1 Borderlands of Identity and the Aesthetics of Disjuncture: An Introduction to Scottish Gothic
Source:
Scottish Gothic
Author(s):

Carol Margaret Davison

Monica Germanà

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474408196.003.0001

The idea of a ‘Gothic Scotland’, however, did not prove difficult to conceptualise in the late eighteenth century and the early nineteenth when a Romanticised portrait of Scotland furnished the nation’s most prevalent cultural image. As Ian Duncan astutely observes in regard to the politics of literary history, it was ‘Scotland’s fate to have become a Romantic object or commodity’ rather than a site of Romantic production (Duncan et al. 2004: 2). Such an objectification was ironic given the existence of Scottish Enlightenment philosophy and its rationally fuelled preoccupations. That objectification was also, notably, expressed in two forms – in both the lighter and darker, more Gothic, shades of Romanticism. Despite the differences in these two manifestations, the Highlands served in both as a synecdoche for a Scotland that exemplified two primary attitudes towards ‘British’ history and rapid modernisation.

Keywords:   Gothic, Scotland, Romantic, Enlightenment

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