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Minority Literatures and Modernism

Minority Literatures and Modernism: Scots, Breton, and Occitan, 1920-1990

William Calin
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    Minority Literatures and Modernism
    Book Description:

    Calin explores the 20th-century renaissance of literature in the minority languages of Scots, Breton, and Occitan, and demonstrates that all three literatures have evolved in a like manner, repudiating their romantic folk heritage.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7728-9
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-2)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 3-12)

    Europe today contains between seventy and seventy-five autoctonal languages, ranging from the tongue with the most native speakers, Russian, to the one with the least, Manx. These include, therefore, both languages of wider currency (‘langues de grande diffusion’) and lesser-used languages (‘langues moins répandues’). Some thirty-five of the autoctonal languages can be designated ‘minority languages.’¹ This means that, within a particular nation-state, they are spoken by a minority of the inhabitants and, in most cases, do not enjoy the benefits and privileges accorded to a national language. The status of the minority languages, their cultural development, how they are considered...

  5. Scotland
    (pp. 13-98)

    The great writer Hugh MacDiarmid / Christopher Murray Grieve devoted a lifetime to calling for and helping build the renewal of Scottish literature in the twentieth century. He was one of the most prodigiously energetic activists of his time – as a speaker, lecturer, and campaigner, as a founding member of the National Party of Scotland and the Scottish Pen Club, and as a contentious member – in and out – of the Communist Party UK. InThe Scottish Chapbook, the review he founded in 1922, in dozens of other reviews, some of which he founded and/or edited himself, in...

  6. Brittany
    (pp. 99-190)

    Roparz Hemon / Louis-Paul Némo is the Hugh MacDiarmid of Brittany. As much as MacDiarmid, perhaps more than MacDiarmid, he devoted a lifetime to the defence and illustration of the Breton language and a modern Breton literature. In addition to producing a magnificent corpus of artistic literary works in all genres, Hemon worked hard as a scholar, organizer, and leader. He founded a number of journals, includingGwalarn,Kannadig Gwalarn,Arvor,Sterenn, andAr Bed Keltiek; he also founded the Celtic Institute and programs in Breton on the radio (Roazon-Breiz) during the war, as well as programs for the teaching...

  7. Occitania
    (pp. 191-272)

    The journalOc, founded in 1924 by Camille Soula and Ismaël Girard and which served as the linguistic and cultural arm of Societal d’Estudis Occitans (Society of Occitan Studies) and, later, the Institut d’Estudis Occitans (Institute of Occitan Studies), corresponds exactly to the Breton reviewsGwalarnandAl Liamm. To this day,Ocremains the principal organ for the expression of Occitan modernity in literature, language, scholarship, and culture. Although he is of a younger generation and cannot be considered the founder of modern Occitan, Robert Lafont in other ways stands as the Southern French equivalent of Hugh MacDiarmid and...

  8. Postmodern
    (pp. 273-300)

    In France a transformation in aesthetics and in literary production occurred in the late 1960s and the 1970s. The new aesthetic and political consciousness is closely associated with and to some extent derived from the student rebellion of 1968. In Brittany, more so perhaps than in Paris or the South, 1968 heralded an evolution in intellectual circles and also in the popular consciousness – a move in the direction of political militancy, to be found on the Left and acted on in the name of the young. The new, politicized, populist, and youth-oriented current can be designated as the minority...

  9. Conclusion
    (pp. 301-322)

    To begin with, this book is not a literary history. For reasons of space and as determined by the economy of presentation, I had to concentrate on a number of representative major figures. Therefore – to cite only the genre of poetry, admittedly the richest – writers of the stature of William Soutar and Alexander Scott, Abeozen and Guy Etienne, and Léon Cordes and Max Rouquette were left out. Guy Etienne / Abanna is, some would claim, the greatest living poet in Breton. I felt it essential to concentrate on Goethe’s threeNaturformen– epic (narrative), lyric, and the drama....

  10. Notes
    (pp. 323-346)
  11. Scots Glossary
    (pp. 347-348)
  12. Bibliography
    (pp. 349-376)
  13. Index
    (pp. 377-399)