And so the journey continues.
Let’s put the Scottish Enlightenment aside and turn to some more recent creations. Here goes:
1. Novel: Alasdair Gray, Lanark. Iain Banks and Ken MacLeod deserve notice as well. I don’t relate to Trainspotting. I understand the case for Robert Louis Stevenson and would wish to jump on board, but usually I lose interest before the end of his books.
3. Classical music: Umm…William Primrose was a strong violist.
4. Architect: Charles Rennie MacIntosh, especially the library.
5. Inventor: James Watt, but there is lots and lots of competition here.
6. Actor: How about Sean Connery? Don’t forget Zardoz.
7. Movie: Gregory’s Girl.
8. Movie, set in Scotland: The Queen.
9. Popular music: David Byrne was born in Scotland. I know the Cocteau Twins, Boards of Canada, Franz Ferdinand, and others, they are OK but I do not love them. Dire Straits and Annie Lennox deserve mention, but overall I suspect many of you rate this group higher than I do. Jesus and Mary Chain? While we’re at it, there is Ewan McLennan and Bert Jansch, both of whom I enjoy.
The bottom line: These are people of intellect (remember the Enlightenment!) and also people of action. For explorers and inventors the record is extremely strong. Yet for music and some of the arts the contributions are rather faint.