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Sorley Maclean, Peter Mackay

Sorley Maclean



Sorley Maclean
by Peter Mackay
Aberdeen Introductions to Irish and Scottish Culture

Available Open Access - free to read and free to download from Aberdeen University Press. Link below.



Detailed Description

Mackay, Peter (2010) Sorley Maclean, Aberdeen Introductions to Irish and Scottish Culture, Aberdeen: AHRC Centre for Irish and Scottish Culture, pp.175+ vi. ISBN: 978-1-906108-11-3

Available Open Access: https://doi.org/10.57132/book13

Sorley MacLean (1911-1996) was the greatest Gaelic poet of the 20th Century and one of the leading figures in the Scottish literary Renaissance. He is best known for his love poetry, for poems written while he was serving in Africa during the Second World War, forpoems exploring place and history, and for the long political poem ‘An Cuilithionn’. His 1943 Dàin do Eimhir agus Dàin Eile is generally regarded the single-most important book published in Gaelic in the last century.


This book offers the first single authored English language introduction to MacLean’s work. It places MacLean’s poetry in poetic, political and historical contexts, exploring its engagement with Gaelic traditions and other language literatures and also with contemporary philosophical and political movements. Discussing the entirety of MacLean’s oeuvre – and offering in-depth case studies of individual poems and groups of poems – this introduction raises questions about translation and cultural ownership in modern Scotland, and shows how and why MacLean’s work continues to resonate.