The latest publication is at the top of the page.
To view earlier works please scroll down or use the table of contents above.
This book is a literary analysis of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan in all its different versions -- key rewritings, dramatisations, prequels, and sequels -- and includes a synthesis of the main critical interpretations of the text over its history. A comprehensive and intelligent study of the Peter Pan phenomenon, this study discusses the book’s complicated textual history, exploring its origins in the Harlequinade theatrical tradition and British pantomime in the nineteenth century. Stirling investigates potential textual and extra-textual sources for Peter Pan, the critical tendency to seek sources in Barrie’s own biography, and the proliferation of prequels and sequels aiming to explain, contextualize, or close off, Barrie’s exploration of the imagination. The sources considered include Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson’s Starcatchers trilogy, Régis Loisel’s six-part Peter Pan graphic novel in French (1990-2004), Andrew Birkin’s The Lost Boys series, the films Hook (1991), Peter Pan (2003) and Finding Neverland (2004), and Geraldine McCaughrean’s "official sequel" Peter Pan in Scarlet (2006), among others.
This volume is the result of a collective desire to pay homage to Neil Forsyth, whose work has significantly contributed to scholarship on Satan. This volume is "after" Satan in more ways than one, tracing the afterlife of both the satanic figure in literature and of Neil Forsyth's contribution to the field, particularly in his major books The Old Enemy: Satan and the Combat Myth (Princeton UP, 1987, revised 1990) and The Satanic Epic (Princeton UP, 2003). The essays in this volume draw on Forsyth's work as a focus for their analyses of literary encounters with evil or with the Devil himself, reflecting the richness and variety of contemporary approaches to the age-old question of how to represent evil. All the contributors acknowledge Forsyth's influence in the study of both the Satan-figure and Milton's Paradise Lost. But beyond simply paying homage to our honoree, the articles collected here trace the lineage of Satan through literary history, showing how he often functions as a necessary other against which a community defines itself, and is therefore bound up in discourse and politics. They chart the demonised other through biblical history and medieval chronicle, Shakespeare and Milton, to nineteenth-century fiction and the contemporary novel. Many of the contributors find that literary evil is mediated through the lens of the Satan of Paradise Lost, and their articles address the notion, raised by Neil Forsyth in The Satanic Epic, that the satanic figures under consideration are particularly interested in linguistic ambivalence and the twisted texture of literary works themselves. The multiple responses to evil and the continuous reinvention of the Devil through the centuries all reaffirm his textual presence, his changing forms necessarily inscribed in the shifting history of western literary culture.
Bella Caledonia: Woman, Nation, Text looks at the widespread tradition of using a female figure to represent the nation, focusing on twentieth-century Scottish literature. The woman-as-nation figure emerged in Scotland in the twentieth century, but as a literary figure rather than an institutional icon like Britannia or France’s Marianne. Scottish writers make use of familiar aspects of the trope such as the protective mother nation and the woman as fertile land, which are obviously problematic from a feminist perspective. But darker implications, buried in the long history of the figure, rise to the surface in Scotland, such as woman/nation as victim, and woman/nation as deformed or monstrous. As a result of Scotland’s unusual status as a nation within the larger entity of Great Britain, the literary figures under consideration here are never simply incarnations of a confident and complete nation nurturing her warrior sons. Rather, they reflect a more modern anxiety about the concept of the nation, and embody a troubled and divided national identity. Kirsten Stirling traces the development of the twentieth-century Scotland-as-woman figure through readings of poetry and fiction by male and female writers including Hugh MacDiarmid, Naomi Mitchison, Neil Gunn, Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Willa Muir, Alasdair Gray, A.L. Kennedy, Ellen Galford and Janice Galloway.
As politics and cultures interact within an increasingly diverse Scotland, and differences in values become more evident across generations, the need for clear understanding and cooperation within and between communities becomes a pressing issue. This relates both to local and larger concerns: language, violence, morality, gender and sexuality, education, ethnicity, truth and lies. The chapters gathered here focus on significant Scottish writers of the late twentieth and early twenty first centuries, (Edwin Morgan, A.L. Kennedy, Liz Lochhead, John Burnside, Jackie Kay, Robin Jenkins, Muriel Spark, William McIlvanney, Ali Smith, James Kelman and others) and the communities described are certainly Scottish, but the issues raised are universal. Questions are asked about the relationship of the individual to others, and therefore, on a larger scale, about the means through which any community is both constructed and sustained: linguistically, spiritually, ethically.
If their multiple voices evoke a “zigzag of contradictions”, it is at any rate a creative zigzag which discovers, or uncovers, many contradictory aspects of life in modern Scotland that should particularly be brought to light in a re-emergent nation. Ethically speaking, Scottish writers point out the need to attend to many different narratives and retellings, in order that Scots might live more honestly and clear-sightedly with themselves and with the wider world.
Wide ranging collection of Essays covering Eric Linklater; Hugh MacDiarmid and Jack Kerouac; Alasdair Gray and James Bridie; Muriel Spark; modern Scottish fiction on England; modern drama in Scots; Barnaby Riche's 'Phylotus' contrasted with the Scottish 'Philotus' amongst other topics.