Location and destination in Alasdair MacMhaighstir Alasdair's "The birlinn of clanranald"
Alasdair mac Mhaighstir Alasdair's poem "The Birlinn of Clanranald" is a classic of Gaelic literature, written probably in the 1750s, giving a detailed account of a sea voyage from the west coast of Scotland to Ireland. Its "place" in history and its geographical trajectory seem to be clearly identifiable. Yet for all its literal detail and verisimilitude, the poem insists that we consider its meaning in metaphorical terms and that the 'space" it occupies cannot be defined by its history of publication, its readership or its language, but in its intimation of human potential in the face of inimical forces, natural and human. "Space" and "place" in this work are fiercely contested.
Riach, A. (2019)., Location and destination in Alasdair MacMhaighstir Alasdair's "The birlinn of clanranald", in M. Szuba & J. Wolfreys (eds.), The poetics of space and place in Scottish literature, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 17-30.
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