As we head into the excitement of Edinburgh’s festival month, Kristian and I are delighted to bring you the latest episode of our podcast A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Scottish Literature! We have a raft of Birlinn writers at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in this 25th anniversary year, and we hope you toddle along to Charlotte Square to join in in all the booky chat. In the meantime, Kristian and I are delving deep in Scotland’s divided self in this podcast episode, where we take a look at James Hogg’s classic novel, The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner.
Hogg’s novel is an unclassifiable masterpiece, straddling many themes and genres. It can be billed as a classic gothic horror, a satire on bigotry and hypocrisy, an acute representation of mental breakdown, an exploration of totalitarian modes of thought, a way-ahead-of-its-time post-modern study on the nature of truth and authorship. It was hard trying to contain our conversation – there’s so much to say about this wonderful book.
We stay within the same period and setting with an interview with the fascinating Sheila Szatkowski who is an expert in all things Enlightenment Edinburgh and has just written an excellent guide to the people, places, and ideas of the period. She really brings the city of the time alive in this new book, and invites the reader to get exploring – you will definitely discover something you didn’t know before as you read.
So, let’s step back in time and celebrate a most intriguing time in Scotland’s history . . .
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