OUR MULTIFORM, OUR INFINITE SCOTLAND
Scottish Literature as “Scottish”, “English” and “World” Literature
Association for Scottish Literary Studies, Glasgow 2012.
Published in: PDF.
So much are the characters of Jekyll and Hyde absorbed into the imaginations of readers and audiences worldwide that it is sometimes a surprise to be reminded that they are the literary creation of a Scot. In effect, Stevenson’s Scottishness becomes airbrushed from the picture almost in proportion as his work has become perceived as part of English literature […] This paper considers the specifics of why such a Scottish literary text, one deeply concerned as we shall see with issues that typify aspects of Scottish culture and literature, should have become so cosmopolitan in its impact and influence. In doing so it will consider other Scottish writers and texts whose trajectory reflects that of Jekyll and Hyde in becoming landmarks of English and world literature and explore specifics of Scottish history, politics and culture that may explain why they have become central elements in “English literature”.
Ian Brown is Professor of Drama at Kingston University and Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow.