Literature has many roles and serves many purposes. One of the most common uses to which literature has been put, both by its producers and by its consumers, is as an expression of personal, regional or national identity. This chapter is concerned with the reading and writing of literature as an expression of identity, and it concentrates on a particular case: the use of literature as an expression of Scottish identity by Scots living in Adelaide in the first 75 years of European settlement. In doing this, it defines a specifically Scottish ‘literary Adelaide’ as encompassing both the consumers of Scottish literature (Adelaide readers and performers of works written in Scotland, often themselves of Scottish origin) and the producers of Scottish literature, or Scottish-Australian literature (the Adelaide writers of Scottish birth or descent who produced literary texts with Scottish themes or language). For these two overlapping groups Scottish literature performed a variety of functions but this chapter concentrates on one of these, the use of Scottish literary texts as a marker of Scottish identity. Before discussing how Scottish literary Adelaide used Scottish literature as an expression of identity, I consider the ambivalent nature of Scottish identity. By the time the colony of South Australia was founded, Scotland had already been part of the United Kingdom for more than a century. Scots could identify themselves as Scots but also as Britons, and even, although much more rarely, as English.
|Title of host publication||Adelaide|
|Subtitle of host publication||a literary city|
|Place of Publication||Adelaide, South Australia|
|Publisher||University of Adelaide Press|
|Number of pages||19|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|