At the Edinburgh Book Festival, the Guardian have extracted a few salvos from James Kelman on Scottish literary culture.
“…it's always been an indication of that Anglocentric nature of what's at the heart of the Scottish literary establishment, that they will not see the tremendous art of a writer like Tom Leonard for example, and how they will praise the mediocre.”
I’m not quite clear who Kelman’s target is here. Who or what makes up the Scottish literary establishment? If we’re talking about those who hand out prizes, then these often go to literary novels. Talk of “praise” suggests critics and perhaps funders. Maybe he means the whole package – administrators, boffins, prize givers, funders, critics, newspapers, publishers – the lot. But perhaps it’s more a gesture of frustration that so little publicity is given to Scottish writers who are pushing literature forward compared to those who sell loads of books. If that’s the case, it’s the same all over the UK, not just in Scotland.