Open letter to someone searching* for the Caledonian Antisyzygy

Dear person who found this blog by searching for ‘magnus merriman caledonian antisyzygy’, please do return.

As it is such a rarity to cross another individual studying Eric Linklater, I am extremely interested to discover who you are and why you went searching for information on the Caledonian Antisyzygy of Magnus Merriman.

Additionally, I spent an entire year working on this very concept, and even gave a few conference papers on the topic. Unfortunately, very little of my research on Magus Merriman made it into the final thesis, but I would be more than happy to have a scholarly chat about Linklater’s work.

If you happen back across this blog, please feel free to contact me using the email on my About page.

Happy academic hunting,
Rachel Marsh

*Of course, a person can be referred to a website through a search word, or series of search words, put into Google. These search words are shown in the ‘stats’ section of a blog, so that a blogger knows how traffic is driven to his/her site.  For a much more entertaining discussion of website referrers, see Terribleminds post Search Term Bingopocalypse.

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3 Responses to Open letter to someone searching* for the Caledonian Antisyzygy

  1. Bonnie Ryder says:

    It was NOT me, but now I’m wondering what the heck Caledonian Antisyzygy is. So I am going to Google it, probably be linked back to your site and screw up your stats.


    –Bonnie Ryder


    • marshrachel says:

      Hey Bonnie,
      How are you? On occasion you’ll do a Facebook status update, and I can happily and quietly stalk you that way, but I have no real idea what you’ve been up to all the these years. I certainly hope all is well with you in New England, and please do keep in touch.

      As for ‘Caledonian Antisyzygy’, you’ve probably looked it up by now, but for all those who haven’t, here’s my basic definition:

      TS Eliot wrote an essay stating that the Scots had no real literature of their own because it was all, in one way or another, derivative of English literature. Hugh MacDiarmid took umbrage to this, and wrote an essay refuting Eliot’s claims. He stated that Scottish literature exists, not only as a separate entity to English literature, but as the Nation is quite dichotomous, so is its literature. He said that Scotland’s literature reflects the dual, and often self-contradictory, nature of the Nation. He references works such as ‘Confessions of a Justified Sinner’ and ‘Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ to prove his point. Despite this debate being initiated by Eliot in 1919, the whole Caledonian Antisyzygy debate continues to crop up in contemporary Scottish literature studies.


  2. Susan says:

    I arrived by searching for Caledonian Antisyzygy and would just like to thank you for taking the time to pop a definition on your page. Much appreciated as I am studying my way through James Hogg and the connections with Alasdair Gray for one of my class essays.
    Best Wishes,


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