Nordic Research Network 2015

  • Silke Reeploeg (Invited speaker)

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference


Island Voices: The reception of Nordic Literature in the literatures of Orkney and Shetland. This paper investigates the reception of Nordic Literature in Scotland, in particular the literatures of the Scottish Northern Isles. The discussion focuses on two archipelagic writers from Scotland, the Orcadian George Mackay Brown and the Shetlander James John Haldane Burgess, whose works were influenced both directly and indirectly by Nordic literature. While Mackay Brown repeatedly returned to themes associated with Icelandic sa ga literature (in particular the Orkneyinga Saga and related sagas of St Magnus), Haldane Burgess’ interest in Norse history and culture led to a focus on language (in particular Norwegian), and the importance of Shetland dialect as a uniquely ‘Nordic’ or ‘Northern’ literary form. Analysing several works by the authors, the paper will show the way in which writers (re)produce and adapt Nordic literary spaces within their own unique island voices, often using it to interrogate their relationship with Scottish/British literary spaces. The resulting narratives in both poem and prose relate to wider issues of the reception of Nordic literature in Britain and Ireland, resulting in methodological challenges in using national literatures as normative forms of representing literary identities.
Period18 Feb 2015
Event typeConference
LocationEdinburgh, United KingdomShow on map


  • Nordic Issues
  • Scotland
  • Shetland
  • Literature
  • Peripheries