Twentieth century Gaelic literature: a description, comprising critical study and a comprehensive bibliography

MacLeod, Donald John (1969) Twentieth century Gaelic literature: a description, comprising critical study and a comprehensive bibliography. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Part 1 of the thesis comprises critical
study. of Scottish Gaelic literature.. in the
twentieth century.
The first chapter outlines the sociological, educational, institutional and biographical background, and the history of Gaelic publishing and of periodical literature (including
important Gaelic columns in newspapers and Gaelic
broadcasting by the B.B.C.
In the second chapter, prose--informative
and creative--is divided, into 3 sections: 1825-
45[resume], 1880-1925, 1950--. The influence on
the, early stories and novels of the native
sgeulachd and historical and exiles' tales is
documented, as is exotic influence. The short
stories of the most recent period are discussed
in more detail-than the rest. Writing styles and
the teaching of Gaelic prose in schools are
The third chapter concerns drama. The
late appearance of the genre in Gaelic is discussed:
early embryonic dramatic forms are examined and
there is a section devoted to the cömhradh, an
essay-device which came to be dramatically
performed. The discussion of play scripts is divided into 2 sections: 1900-45, 1945--. In the
first section, the development of popular comedy
from Lowland community drama, revivalist
dramatisations of customs and the cömhradh is
traced; plot types are delineated; also, serious
drama is evaluated. In the latter-period,
experimental drama is discussed in detail.
There follows a section on performances which
gives details of the types of drama performed and
discussion of drama teams, festivals, societies and
audiences. The final section describes the
development of critical-taste.
The fourth chapter- devoted to poetry, is
considerably the longest. It is divided into sections
on a stylistic basis. Traditional bardic
poetry--i.e., that with an Expressionistic tendency--
is dealt with first: the role and repertoire
of the bard (and the conflation of the former
with the comedian's role) and the achievement
of individual bards is discussed. This is
followed by a section on "the bard in exile",
which is specifically concerned with the
rise of Romanticism. The next section describes
the survival of the bardic tradition and evaluates
it. Traditional lyric poetry--that with an
Impressionistic tendency--is then discussed.
The next section deals with religious poetry,
which is mainly bardic. The largest section
describes, in close detail, experiments in poetry:
both the larger and more important body of poetry
rooted in the native lyric tradition and also
experimental bardic poetry.
The final chapter is a summary of the
conclusions of the previous four. General trends
and the development of surrealism, symbolism and of
a general sophistication and cosmopolitanism are
Briefly, the pattern of development
outlined in this thesis is as follows. New
requirements and contacts were created by the
synthetic recreation of ceilidh-culture in
Lowland cities. Popular drama and short stories
were a consequence, these fashions spreading to
the Gaidhealtachd through the branches of An
Comunn Gaidhealach. A nationalistically-motivated
'high-brow' extension of this new literature
produced more ambitious short stories and plays as
well as three novels. Conscious experiments in poetry were also conducted at the beginning
of the century, but are of much significance only
from the 1930's on, this development being a
facet of the Scottish Literary Renaissance. In
the 1950's and thereafter, a considerable sophistication
has been achieved in all genres.
Part 2 of the thesis is a descriptive
bibliography of Gaelic publications in this century,
including monographs and serials with ca. 3% or
over of Gaelic material but excepting sheet music.
The bibliography, being conceived as an extension
of Donald MacLean's 'Typographia Scoto-Gadelica'(1915),
gives Full Standard Description, deviations from
this style being in accordance with Library of
Congress procedure. Arrangement of entries is
alphabetical, according to author's surname.
Locations, cross references and informative
footnotes are given. An introduction gives details
of the style adopted.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities
Supervisor's Name: Thomson, Professor Derick
Date of Award: 1969
Depositing User: Ms Mary Anne Meyering
Unique ID: glathesis:1969-5027
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2014 13:42
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2014 08:58

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