‘Change rules’: reading Glasgow’s 1960s redevelopment in the work of Edwin Morgan

Strang, Kirsty (2015) ‘Change rules’: reading Glasgow’s 1960s redevelopment in the work of Edwin Morgan. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

Due to Embargo and/or Third Party Copyright restrictions, this thesis is not available in this service.

Abstract

The poet Edwin Morgan (1920 – 2010) has left an indelible mark on the landscapes of Scottish poetry, dramaturgy and criticism, and yet his contributions to the specific cultural framework of his home city of Glasgow are yet to be fully explored. His critics often position Morgan as an internationalist, always looking outwards. However, a focus inwards on his native city of Glasgow continually texturises his poetry and it is from here that he looks to the rest of Scotland, the wider world and, indeed, the entire universe.

This study uses the demolition and redevelopment projects occurring in Glasgow during the 1960s and 70s as a backdrop to Morgan’s work. By foregrounding his poetry and criticism that engages with these changes, it aims to examine the role of such Glasgow-specific foci in the context of Morgan’s wider corpus. The ongoing legacy of the rehousing schemes of the 1960s and 70s is uneasy, although this is largely a case of pragmatic retrospect. As such, this dissertation also argues that it is important to read the aesthetic of regeneration and change which occurred in the literature and art of this time as a product of the immediate environment, rather than with retrospect. It also seeks to situate the work of Morgan and his contemporaries as a direct challenge to representations of stagnant negativity, intractable to any artist, thereby arguing the 1960s were a precursor to the ‘Glasgow’s Miles Better’ campaign of the 1980s and the eventual City of Culture award given to Glasgow in 1990. While these two rebranding missions are often credited with actively altering the negative stereotype of Glasgow, Morgan’s work was among the first to directly challenge this stereotype and instigate a new positivity in the city.

Finally, it examines Morgan’s work against other writers and artists, including an in-depth study of his poetry against the artworks of Joan Eardley (1921 – 1963) and Oscar Marzaroli (1933 – 1988). This is backed up by the use of archive material from Glasgow University’s MS Morgan papers.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Due to copyright restrictions the full text of this thesis cannot be made available online. Access to the printed version is available.
Keywords: scottish poetry, scottish art, Edwin Morgan, Glasgow, urban literature, redevelopment, poetry
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies
Supervisor's Name: Riach, Prof. Alan
Date of Award: 2015
Depositing User: Ms Kirsty Strang
Unique ID: glathesis:2015-6416
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2016 14:03
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2018 10:34
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/6416

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