1.5 Getting Into Other Worlds: James Robertson with Penny Fielding (JP)

James Robertson, brilliant author of The Testament of Gideon Mack, and University of Edinburgh’s top prof. Penny Fielding beam in from their respective corners of Scotland. Extensive reference is made to (John’s madly beloved) James Hogg and to Robert Louis Stevenson, especially his Jack-the-Ripperesque Jekyll and Hyde. The violence that underpins slavery–aye, even in Scotland, and even during the enduringly influential Scottish Enlightenment–is dredged up, as is the question of feeling implicated in the legacy of an enslaving system. James sketches a generous theory about what and how a novel signifies: it is simply asleep until a reader picks it up and invests imagination into it. Hints are dropped regarding James’s newest novel, News of the Dead due for release in May. And, of course, we learn about his writerly treat…

Mentioned in the Episode

In case you are wondering about the general look of those standing stones James writes about–and runs past daily.

Listen to the Episode

Image source: Sierra Pacheco abernethy biscuit (wikipedia)

Published by plotznik

I teach English (mainly the novel and Victorian literature) at Brandeis University, and live in Brookline.

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