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Minority Literatures and Modernism: Scots, Breton, and Occitan, 1920-1990
Foyalty 179

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

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A quiet renaissance has been unfolding in certain parts of Europe - a renaissance of literature written in minority languages. In this book, William Calin explores the renaissance through an examination of twentieth-century works in Scots, Breton, and Occitan minority languages flourishing inside the borders of the United Kingdom and France. For each of the three bodies of literature Calin considers major authors whose works include novels, poetry and plays, and shows that all three literatures have evolved in a like manner, repudiating their romantic folk heritage and turning instead to modern and postmodern concerns. Drawing on current critical theories in periodization, postcolonialism and cultural studies, Calin raises a range of comparative questions: Is there a common form of narrative prevalent in minority cultures that is neither realism nor metafiction? Is the minority-language theatre limited to plots treating past history and the rural present? What is the relationship between the minority literature and literature in the national language?

What kind of history should be written on the literatures of Scotland, Brittany and the South of France, manifest in their several languages? Calin's pioneering study is the first comparative scrutiny of these minority literatures and the first to bring all three together into the mainstream of present-day criticism. His work demonstrates the intrinsic importance in their twentieth-century renewal, as well as their contribution to global culture, in both aesthetic and broadly human terms.

William Calin is a graduate research professor in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at the University of Florida.

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