way he has dressed up the story with the unhelpful terminology of political science. at least in the opening chapters. where there‘s much fiddling about with other' typologies ofpolitical parties. their caveats. and Levy’s own. The result is banal.

I Iowcver. the academic shenanigans and bias aside. the account of Scottish Nationalism in the 1970s and 1980s is well worth reading. Since the SNP broke through a double-figure share of the vote in 1970 ( l 1% ) it has never slipped back to single figures. peakingat 30C? in 1974. Everyone but the Tories now support devolution in some form and as talk of Doomsday 2 becomes prevalent in the run-up to the next election. Levy‘s book is good on general background whether or not you‘re going to vote for Salmond. Sillar's & Co. (K.A. Davidson)


The Comic Poems of William Tennant Ed. Maurice Lindsay and Alexander Scott (Scottish Academic Press £15) 'I’ennant‘s life is not without its own interest. Born in Anstruther in 1784, crippled in early childhood. he became a lad o‘ pairts. fluent in many languages largely self-taught. and was eventually appointed Professor ofOriental Languages at St Andrews. lIe retained a keen interest in his native Scots. as this book demonstrates. although he was moved to write of his Papis‘try Storm'd. ‘It is a daring thing. now-a-days. to write a long poem in Scottish.‘

The main content of this collection. however. is a long mock-epic ofsix cantos in English called Alister Fair. Tennant chose to write in ottava rima. thus anticipating Byron‘s later work. But whereas Byron uses satire. Tennant prefers a lighter touch. often juxtaposing the sublime and the ridiculous to good effect.

Despite its handsome appearance. this is not a book that many will pluck eagerly from the shelves. When it was first published in 1812 Arzster Fair achieved great popularity as a comic poem but. together with its companion pieces. it will now claim attention mainly from academics. However. it is encouraging to note 'I‘ennant's own defence ofScots which he calls‘. . . that language. the richest. perhaps. and most flexible for humorous purposes. of any dialect of modern

Europe.‘ (Ken Morrice)


I The Night of the Weeping Women Lawrence Naumoff ( Flamingo £3.99) When Ma and Pa descend for a visit on their daughter and son-in-law family tension takes on a razorish clarity and murder is only a breath away.

' I A Summons to Memphis Peter Taylor (Penguin £4.99) Delightfully understated. liquid tale of family resentment in the deep South where they do things differently.

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I Among Women Only Cesare Pavese (Sceptre £3.99) Glamour, disillusionment and vicious callousness. kaleidoscoped in this acerbic portrayal of the post-war Italian fashion world.

I Saint Joan ot Arc Vita Sackville-West (Cardinal £5.99) Reprint of this precise, detailed biography of the stocky French peasant girl who saved her country from English clutches, yet two years later was roasted at the stake for her (heretical) pains.

I Scary Kisses Brad Gooch (Pan £4.99) Male modelling exposed as never before; along with other things like a vast flair for the unintentionally ridiculous.



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I The Perfect Man Fiona Pitt-Kethley (Abacus £3.99) Poetry interruptus fifty-nine pages ofcunnilinguistic flourishes from the self-confessed lady Casanova.

I Beyond Silver River Jimmy Burns (Bloomsbury £4.99) Journalist's evocative but unemotional view of South America. a land still enigmatic and far from tamed.

I The Grass Arena John Healey (Faber £3.99) Battered childhood, years as a drunken dosser and jailbird. then metamorphosis through chess. make up the threads of this poignant, vividly told autobiography.


GLASGOW Tuesday 13

I Open World Poetics: ‘The Geological Context.' Glasgow School of Art, Newbery Tower, 167 Renfrew Street. 7.15pm. A paper presented by Dugie Macinnes. geologist and artist, on the origins of rock formations and their relationship to the arts. Followed by discussion. For further information contact Catriona Oates on 041 334 6480 or Norman Bissel on 041 959 6033.

Wednesday 14—Friday 23

I Word of Mouth Festival All events at the Glasgow Arts Centre, 12 Washington Street. 041 221 4526. Tickets £2 per event. £5 per week. TWINNING OPEN CIRCLE EVENTS

A series of events connected with artistic exchanges between Glasgow and its Twin Towns of Nurnberg, Rostov on Don and Turin.

Wed14 Celebrating Turin and Glasgow. 7.30pm. Writers Ferdinando Albertazzi and Gianpiero Bona read with poets Stewart Conn and Catriona Montgomery.

Thurs 15 Celebrating Nurnberg and Glasgow. 7.30pm. Writer/poet Friedhelm Sikora and singer/songwriters Gunter Stossel and Klaus Brandl perform with writers Tom McGrath and Jack Withers.

Fri 16 Glasgow and Political Song. 7.30pm. Songs new and old from Gordeanna MacCulloch, John McCreadie, Jim Brown, SCND Buskers with guests, poet Alex Frackleton and the Nurnberg songwriter.

Sat 17 The Other Side of the Mirror. 2pm. A discussion on the role of the writer in Glasgow, Nurnberg and Turin.

Also International Ceilidh. 8pm. With the Bobby Harvey Band. Traditional song and literary interludes from their foreign guests. SCOTTISH WRITING EVENTS

Mon 19 Scots Glasnost. 7.30pm. Tom Hubbard of the Scottish Poetry Library promotes new poetry in the Scots language and encourages a Scots Internationalism.

Tue 20 Itinerant Poets. 7.30pm. The eight Itinerant Poets have performed their work far and wide. Their poems have been published in magazines and a series of small press pamphlets which began in 1987 with Towers of Babel.

Wed 21 Poetry. Song and Story. 7.30pm. An evening with Chapman, Scotland's literary magazine. Derek Thomson, Dilys Rose, Janice Galloway, Christopher Rush and many others.

Thurs 22 West Coast Magazin 2. ‘Bars, Makars and Bards’. Contributors to Glasgow’s latest literary magazine show offtheir talents.

Fri 23 School of Poets. 7.30pm. A workshop specifically for those seriously writing poetry. Meeting

regularly since 1981, work is in small groups offering the opportunity to learn while contributing to the creation and discussion.


I Scottish Arts Council Readership Conference Fri 23 Mar. Royal College of Physicians, 9 Queen Street. Following the successful Readership Report published in October 1989, the Readership Conference has been organised to provide a public forum for further discussion on the matter of reading in Scotland. The conference runs from 9.15am—4.30pm and the cost including lunch is £28.75. To obtain a booking form and further information contact The Scottish Arts Council, 12 Manor Place, Edinburgh, EH3 7DD. 226 6051 or fax on 225 9833.

I Waterstones Bookshop Events 1 14 George Street, Edinburgh, 225 3436. UIIIII Sun 18 Mar Waterstones/Faber Crime Competition. Two aged twins are found murdered in the shop. The clues seem to point to even more ancient assissins. Using your knowledge of the shop’s layout and stock work out ‘Whodunnit‘, why and how. Clues are placed around the shop and prizes include a selection ofcrime novels, gift tokens and champagne. Entry forms from Waterstone’s.

Thurs 8 Mar Meet Todd McEwen. 7.30pm. The author of McC— A Romance of the Dow (Seeker and Warburg) will be available to discuss his work.

Thurs 15 MarJohn Mortimer. 7.30pm. Reading from his new novel Titmuss Regained (Viking 13.99). Thurs 22 MarJulie Walters. 7.30pm. The actress and comedienne will be promoting her new book Baby Talk (Ebury Press, £7.95), the secret diary of a pregnant woman. She will be talking about her experiences and her career, followed up by a signing session.

I Scottish Poetry Library will be making books from their library available to other branch libraries around Scotland. For more information contact The Scottish Poetry Library on 031 557 2876.







84'1‘he List 9 22 March 1990