James Kelman is Scotland's most influential contemporary prose artist. This is a book-length study of his groundbreaking novels, analysing and contextualising each in detail. It argues that while Kelman offers a coherent and consistent vision of the world, each novel should be read as a distinct literary response to particular aspects of contemporary working-class language and culture. Historicised through diverse contexts such as Scottish socialism, public transport, emigration, ‘Booker Prize’ culture and Glasgow's controversial ‘City of Culture’ status in 1990, the book offers readings of Kelman's style, characterisation and linguistic innovations. This study resists the prevalent condemnations of Kelman as a miserable realist, and produces evidence that he is acutely aware of an unorthodox, politicised literary tradition which transgresses definitions of what literature can or should do. Kelman is cautious about the power relationship between the working-class worlds he represents in his fiction, and the latent preconceptions embedded in the language of academic and critical commentary. In response, the study is self-critical, questioning the validity and values of its own methods. Kelman is shown to be deftly humorous, assiduously ethical, philosophically alert and politically necessary.
itself with some ghost, can only talk with or about some ghosts.2
Two places at once, was it, or one place twice?3
In 2013, a decade and a half after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement,
‘Derry-Londonderry’ made headlines as the first UK CityofCulture. Strategically
branding itself as a town-with-two-names – granting parity-of-esteem to historically polarised perspectives on one place – Northern Ireland’s second city used
this civic accolade to demonstrate (and build on) many positive developments of
the ‘peace’ era. The official logo
Mike Savage and Janet Wolff
C u lt u r e i n M a n c h e s t e r
m a n c h e s t e r : ci t y o f c u lt u r e
This collection of essays is premised on the belief that Manchester, through a
period of two hundred years and of enormous changes, has been – and remains
– an impressive cityofculture. The popular version of this view is likely to
focus on the more visible moments of innovation – from the proliferation
of pioneering cultural institutions associated with the rise of the industrial
bourgeoisie in the mid-nineteenth century
began on new residential neighbourhoods.
The statisticians who made their way to Florence witnessed a massive wave of
demolition, as they had in Paris twelve years earlier. An old world was vanishing before their eyes, and the new one was no more than a blueprint. But that
was how statisticians saw the world: all at once volatile, threatening and challenging. Statistics was their blueprint.
Florence was eager to position itself as a cityofculture and organised several
national festivals. In 1861 – soon after unification – it hosted the first national
civil strife overshadowed in some respects the celebrations surrounding Derry’s nomination as the UK’s first CityofCulture.
The British Labour Party and Derry, 1942–62
4 Festival of Britain Northern Ireland brochure, http://craftni.org/images/
uploads/Festival_of_Britain_Feature.pdf (accessed 23 February 2013);
Derry City Archives (DCA), Londonderry Corporation Minute Book, Parks,
Libraries and Museums Committee, 1917–51, 8 January 1951. I am grateful
to Bernadette Walsh, archivist at DCA, for her help and assistance. Derry
was the first city to be
begun to regenerate itself as a ‘post-industrial city’, with the arts as a key component, and had adopted the slogan ‘Glasgow’s Miles Better’. It had already won the right to host the National Garden Festival in 1988 and had opened the Burrell Gallery in 1983 (Garcia 2004 ). Although there were criticisms of the Glasgow event as being elitist and ignoring the city’s working-class communities (Mooney 2004 ), the year of the CityofCulture had a transformative effect.
A key legacy was a major change in the city’s image from a tired negative stereotype to being a
The origins of dissident republicans and their mandate
Sophie A. Whiting
elections as a platform to highlight a number of
issues like British policing and the prison issues. As well as that the social issues that
would affect the everyday lives of people in our community … There was a lot of
people saying they wanted something different, they wanted to vote but none of the
parties that were there represented that republican grass roots opinions and ideals.43
An additional motivating factor to run for local election was the disdain felt
towards ‘Derry-Londonderry’ being awarded the UK CityofCulture. DerryLondonderry was named the first UK
school system. This is a key point that we’ll discuss in more detail in Chapter 5 .
In terms of regenerating communities, Changing Lives draws on a long-standing policy tradition that art and culture can have place-based benefits. 24 The primary example in the report is the city of Hull’s designation as UK CityofCulture in 2017. The programme leveraged funding, provided events designed to increase both local and tourist interest in the city, increased local pride in place, and changed external perceptions.
The report also notes how the bidding process for UK
Northern Ireland. Other targets have included
PSNI stations and individual members of the police service. The RIRA have also
targeted locations involved in Derry’s hosting of the UK CityofCulture in 2013
an event viewed as reinforcing Derry’s role within the UK.43
Since the RIRA’s inception, there has been collaboration between the different militant groupings.44 This was formalised at the end of July 2012 when
several republican factions announced they had come together within a unified
structure under a single leadership via a statement released to the Guardian
Bologna, 2016 ) living in the city proper, and around 1 million in its greater area. Of those living within the city, in February 2016
foreign-born residents accounted for 15.24 per cent (Comune di Bologna, 2016 ). The town is home to the oldest university in Europe, established in 1088, around which the city has built a considerable part of its prestige, and which attracts both national and international students. This is not the only reason why it is considered a cityofculture: unions and associations have been