Prime Sunset Song Author Lewis Grassic Gibbon –

Attention Novelists Test 1Have you written a dreary middlebrow novel set in a part of India, the Orient, or a sundrenched third world nation Is your novel about postcolonial struggles and skirmishes faced by impoverished nations during a specific period in history Does your novel dwell upon the emotional turmoil at the root of a persecuted community, and does it focus on a stoic native whose trials are shown at their most heartbreaking and humourless Well done Your novel will be popular with middle aged divorc es and airheaded beach readers who want the covers of their novels to reflect the places in which they skim them Your novel probably looks like this Test 2Have you written a shameless, tearjerking piece of third world issuetainment after a moving trip to Nigeria in an attempt to spread the message to readers around the world about suffering, poverty, and the first world s indifference to famine, drought and oppression Was your intention originally to donate all profits to charities, but now that you ve written the novel, you need the money to pay for your mortgage and car insurance Is your book told from a child s point of view in insultingly simple prose that approximates how a Nigerian would speak, since you didn t attempt to transcribe dialect during your trip, you simply made concerned faces and wept in your hotel room Well done Your novel will be bought at airports and remain unread for months until the reader has the guts to skim a few pages before he puts it down for being too depressing Your novel probably looks like this Test 3Have you written a sentimental, nostalgic novel romanticising the past in a dreary Irish, Scottish or Northern English ex mining town Is your novel stuffed with lazily specific references to things that happened in the past so people think you are evoking a certain place in time wonderfully, rather than simply ransacking your own bland childhood cynically for profit Does your novel have extremely tame romantic scenes and po faced attempts to depict the bigotry and racism at the heart of these backward communities in the form of hokey literary metaphors and stand alone paragraph sentences Well done Your novel will sell like spangles to the over sixties market, desperate to redeem their miserable childhoods by misremembering every bad thing that happened to them as a good thing that didn t happen to them Your novel looks like If you ve ever even been to Scotland and seen this lost world in the desolate ruins of farm steads, this book will make your heart ache ever so much Prtf Set in the rural community of Kinraddie Scotland in the years before and during the Great War It s a moving and heartfelt account of the changes wrought in the close knit community The story unfolds through the eyes of Chris Guthrie, her affinity to the land and to a way of life that will never be seen again Chris is a wonderful character, she is strong and resilient like the land she loves.This wonderful novel is evocative of time and place, and is rich in characterisation All of the characters were well portrayed It s a strongly delivered novel, bittersweet and poignant Easy to see why it is rated so highly by readers The dialect took a while to sort out though, there were some terms that I d never heard of but it just added to the authenticity of the novel Time and money well spent. REVISIT VIA BBC Listen hereDescription Divided between her love of the land and the harshness of farming life, young Chris Guthrie finally decides to stay in the rural community of her childhood Yet World War I and the changes that follow make her a widow and mock the efforts of her youth. Episode 1 2 1 hour Chris is torn between the love of the land and her ambition to be a teacher Episode 2 2 After her father s death, Chris is determined to work the farm, alone if needs a dramatised production Not the best of quality but hey who s going to be so picky at this stage There is, allegedly, a new film in production as we speak.PAPER READ fireside, sipping scotch and toasting Rabbie Burns.Edited with an introduction by Tom Crawford Map of KinraddieDedication To Jean Baxter Arbuthnott is the real KinraddieOpening KINRADDIE lands had been won by a Norman childe, Cospatric de Gondeshil, in the days of William de Lyon, when gryphons and such like beasts still roamed the Scots countryside and folk would waken in their beds to hear the children screaming, with a great wolf beast, come through the hide window, tearing at their throats Dunnottar Castle.I know there are many historical fictionistas out there who dislike dialects and there is a further modernist warning Gibbon s style is one of the great achievements of the trilogy and should be seen in relation to Scottish forerunners like John Galt as well as in the context of modernist innovators such as James Joyce, Gertrude Stein and William Faulkner Tom Crawford, Canongate Books Divided Between Her Love Of The Land And The Harshness Of Farming Life, Young Chris Guthrie Finally Decides To Stay In The Rural Community Of Her Childhood Yet World War I And The Changes That Follow Make Her A Widow And Mock The Efforts Of Her Youth This book was included in the 100 Best Scottish Books Willy Maley and the Scottish Book Trust and others in 2005 , and according to the Wikipedia article on it is widely regarded as one of the most important Scottish novels of the 20th century, if not the most important. Having just completed it I m all in agreement It is lyrical and moving, it is old fashioned and modern at the same time, it does blend melodrama and realism, and it does show the best of Scotland in Chris Guthrie The orthography is a bit peculiar but it does give a very strong sense of how Scots people spoke and therefore thought Don t let that put you off though, this is a very good read indeed Personally I enjoyed the Prelude to the novel which gives the history of Kinraddie and sets the scene for the story of Chris It s a great piece of writing And the novel overall is a great achievement on the part of Grassic Gibbon.Makes you proud to be Scottish Sunset Song WikipediaSunset A Scottish lamentThis first volume of Lewis Grassic Gibbon s trilogy, A Scots Quair, focuses on the life of Chris Guthrie, daughter of a tenant farmer in the fictional estate of Kinraddie in the north east of Scotland, before and during the First World War Sunset Song, written in 1932, is generally considered the strongest book in the trilogy and one of the greatest Scottish novels of the twentieth century Although it s written in a form of the dialect of the area, it s been pretty heavily anglicised so that it keeps the rhythms without being too hard for non Scots or modern Scots to understand There s a heavy sprinkling of old Scots words, but also a glossary of them should the meaning not be obvious from the context Chris is born the daughter of John Guthrie of Blawearie, a farmer hardened by the lifelong struggle to wrest a living from the land, and Jean, a woman worn down by years of pregnancies and childbirth John is a harsh father to his sons, demanding hard labour and unquestioning obedience, and exacting cruel physical punishment when angered, while Jean can do nothing but watch passively But Chris shows signs of academic intelligence, and it is John s wish, and her own, that she be educated and get away from the land to become a teacher All this changes when first Jean and then John die, leaving the family broken up and Chris as the inheritor of the farm Now with the money to leave and make a new life for herself, Chris realises the land is in her blood she wonders how she could ever have thought to leave it and to take up a career that would deny her the joys of marriage and children.And so she marries young Ewan Tavendale and together they are content to farm their land, Chris happiness enhanced when she bears her first son But the world is changing and over in Europe war clouds are gathering And during the four years of fighting, life for Chris and for this entire community will be changed forever Chae jumped up when she finished, he said Damn t, folk, we ll all have the whimsies if we listen to any woesome songs Have none of you a cheerful one And the folk in the barn laughed at him and shook their heads, it came on Chris how strange was the sadness of Scotland s singing, made for the sadness of the land and sky in dark autumn evenings, the crying of men and women of the land who had seen their lives and loves sink away in the years, things wept for beside the sheep ouchts, remembered at night and in twilight The gladness and kindness had passed, lived and forgotten, it was Scotland of the mist and rain and the crying sea that made the songs. The book is essentially a lament for the passing of a way of life Gibbon shows how the war hurried the process along, but he also indicates how change was happening anyway, with increasing mechanisation of farms, the landowners gradually driving the tenant farmers off as they found profitable uses for the land, the English ing of education leading to the loss of the old language and with it, old traditions Although the cruelties and hardships of the old ways are shown to the full, he also portrays the sense of community, of neighbour supporting neighbour when the need arises And he gives a great feeling of the relative isolation of these communities, far distant from the seat of power and with little interest in anything beyond their own lives But here too he suggests things are changing, with some of the characters flirting with the new socialist politics of the fledgling Labour Party.It took me a good third of the book to really find myself involved in the story It begins with a long introduction to all the characters and a potted history of the area While there s some great writing and quite a lot of humour in this section, I found it was trying to cover too much and I didn t really get a feel for most of the characters which was a problem that remained throughout the book in fact The main characters become very well realised, but all the others flit in and out and I never felt fully on top of who they were or how they related to each other As Chris grows from childhood into young womanhood, there is a major emphasis on her awakening sexuality, with some writing which I feel must have been considered pretty shocking in its time, including allusions to rape and incest.But suddenly, at the point where Chris finds herself alone and independent, the book turns into something quite wonderful The story of Chris and Ewan falling in love and marrying is full of emotional truth This isn t a great romance this is two young people setting out to make a life for themselves and their inevitable children, farming the land in continuity with the generations before them and assuming they will hand it on in turn to the next, and making the adjustments that any couple must when the realities of living with another person don t quite match up to the dream It lingered at the back of her mind, dark, like a black cat creeping at the back of a hedge, she saw the fluff of its fur or the peek of its eyes, a wild and sinister thing in the sunlight but you would not look often or see those eyes, how they glared at you He was going out there, where the sky was a troubled nightmare and the earth shook night and day, into the lands of the coarse French folk, her Ewan, her lad with his dark, dear face and that quick, blithe blush And suddenly she was filled with a weeping pity in her heart for him, a pity that brought no tears to her eyes, he must never see her shed tears all the time he was with her, he d go out to the dark, far land with memories of her and Blawearie that were shining and brave and kind. And when war begins, Gibbon handles beautifully the gradual change within the community, from feeling completely detached and uninvolved to slowly finding their lives affected in every way As the men begin to either volunteer or, later, be conscripted into the Army, each character reacts differently but truly to the personality Gibbon has so carefully created for them Some of the writing is heart breaking in its emotional intensity but never overloaded with mawkishness or sentimentality Gibbon touches on questions that must still have been hugely sensitive so soon after one war and with another already looming conscientious objection and desertion and asks not for forgiveness for his characters but for understanding and empathy The ending echoes the beginning, as Gibbon again takes us round the community showing the irrevocable changes wrought by war and modernisation on each family some winners, some losers, but none unaltered And as he brings his characters together one last time, we see them begin to gather the strength to face their uncertain future in a world that will never be the same again.A brilliant book that fully deserves its reputation Highly recommended, though I should warn you I sobbed solidly through most of the second What to say about this magnificent book This is the first boot of the trilogy A Scots Quair.According to George Malcom Thomson, to whom the book is dedicated, wrote that this Chris of yours is surely the greatest woman character in Scottish fictionShe is intensely Scottish and yet universal.I just found these little gems Sunset Song BBC 1971 Clips 1, 2, 3 and 4.This book was a kind gift by dear friend A aka B. I was forced to read this book when I was in 5th year at school in Scotland I despised it I have no idea why students are given this to study This is a dull dull book Fields, farming, fields, some stepping stones, Long Rob, Chris Guthrie, sighing, pondering, her rosy cheeked bloody face on the cover Her grunting father wanking outside her door Christ on a bike I think at the very least you need grey pubic hair to enjoy this. One of the best books I ve read this year thus far June 2018 A story quickening, mad, disturbing, and beautiful, and a prose striking and melodic Sunset Song dwells on some of my favorite subjects in literature tyrannical parents, covetous and bewildering small communities, coming into maturity, the dying of old ways, the passing of generations, wicked thoughts and terrible acts, and that great breaking between two people, tied by family, who simply cannot see each other as worthy of love I am sure this book will stay with me and dwell, throughout my mind, forever.