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Caledonian Antisyzygy: Val McDermid says “Yes”

Monday, 15 September, 2014

It all began, some say, with The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. Thus was born in Scottish literature “Caledonian Antisyzygy”, which in plain English is the “idea of dueling polarities within one entity”. Viewed historically, Stevenson’s book begat “Tartan noir” and along with Ian Rankin, its most famous practitioner today is Val McDermid, whose novels, especially the Tony Hill series, are known for their graphic depictions of sex and violence.

McDermid will be voting “Yes” in Thursday’s referendum on Scotland’s future. “I understand some people believe in the union and its value to us, and I have no issue with the ones — like JK Rowling — voting no for those cogently expressed reasons. I disagree with them, but I respect their position,” she writes in The Guardian, and continues:

“What I don’t respect are the ‘fearties’ — the ones whose reason for voting no is that they’e afraid we’ll turn out to be incapable of managing our own country. I don’t want us to stay in the union because we’re scared of what the future holds if we strike out on our own.

Look at our history: we invented political economy; we led the world in the practical application of science and engineering; we organised and ran the British empire; we run towards, not away, from terrorists who try to blow up our airport. How can we not believe in ourselves?”

More Caledonian Antisyzygy here on Wednesday from someone who is voting “No”.


Filed in: Scotland

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