Hugh MacDiarmid bigraphy, stories - Linguists

Hugh MacDiarmid : biography

11 August 1892 - 9 September 1978

Hugh MacDiarmid is the pen name of Christopher Murray Grieve (11 August 1892 – 9 September 1978), a significant Scottish poet of the 20th century. He was instrumental in creating a Scottish version of modernism and was a leading light in the Scottish Renaissance of the 20th century. Unusually for a first generation modernist, he was a communist; unusually for a communist, however, he was a committed Scottish nationalist. He wrote both in English and in literary Scots (often referred to as Lallans).

Early life and writings

MacDiarmid was born in LangholmBold, Alan. "MacDiarmid". London: Paladin, 1190. p 35. After leaving school in 1910, he worked as a journalist for five years. He then served in the Royal Army Medical Corps during the First World War. After the war, he married and returned to journalism. His first book, Annals of the Five Senses (1923) was a mixture of prose and poetry in English, but he then turned to Scots for a series of books, culminating in what is probably his best known work, the book-length A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle. This poem is widely regarded as one of the most important long poems in 20th-century Scottish literature. After that, he published several books containing poems in both English and Scots.

Later writings

MacDiarmid Memorial near Langholm As his interest in science and linguistics increased, MacDiarmid found himself turning more and more to English as a means of expression so that most of his later poetry is written in that language. His ambition was to live up to Rilke's dictum that 'the poet must know everything' and to write a poetry that contained all knowledge. As a result, many of the poems in Stony Limits (1934) and later volumes are a kind of found poetry reusing text from a range of sources. Just as he had used Jameson's dialect dictionary for his poems in 'synthetic Scots', so he used Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionary for poems such as 'On a Raised Beach'.M. H. Whitworth, ‘Hugh MacDiarmid and Chambers’s Twentieth Century Dictionary,’ Notes and Queries, 55 (2008), 78-80. Other poems, including 'On a Raised Beach' and 'Etika Preobrazhennavo Erosa' used extensive passages of prose.M. H. Whitworth, ‘Three Prose Sources for Hugh MacDiarmid’s “On a Raised Beach,”’ Notes and Queries, 54 (2007), 175-77M. H. Whitworth, ‘Forms of Culture in Hugh MacDiarmid’s “Etika Preobrazhennavo Erosa,”’ International Journal of Scottish Literature, no.5 (Autumn/Winter 2009). www.ijsl. stir.ac.uk. This practice, particularly in the poem 'Perfect', led to accusations of plagiarismHugh Gordon Porteus, letter, TLS (4 Feb. 1965), 87 from supporters of the Welsh poet Glyn Jones, to which MacDiarmid's response was 'The greater the plagiarism the greater the work of art.' The great achievement of this late poetry is to attempt on an epic scale to capture the idea of a world without God in which all the facts the poetry deals with are scientifically verifiable. In his critical work Lives of the Poets, Michael Schmidt notes that Hugh MacDiarmid 'had redrawn the map of Scottish poetry and affected the whole configuration of English literature'.Schmidt, Michael: Lives of the Poets, page 643. Wiedenfeld and Nicolson, 2007.

MacDiarmid wrote a number of non-fiction prose works, including Scottish Eccentrics and his autobiography Lucky Poet. He also did a number of translations from Scottish Gaelic, including Duncan Ban MacIntyre's Praise of Ben Dorain, which were well received by native speakers including Sorley MacLean.

Portrait in National Portrait Gallery primary collection

Hugh MacDiarmid sat for sculptor Alan Thornhill and a bronze was acquired by the National Portrait Gallery. The terracotta original is held in the collection of the artist The correspondence file relating to the MacDiarmid bust is held in the archivehttp://www.henry-moore-fdn.co.uk/matrix_engine/content.php?page_id=584 HMI Archive of the Henry Moore Foundation's Henry Moore Institute in Leeds.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine