Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.654719
Title: 'Rankin's Scotland' : contemporary Scottish crime fiction and a narration of modern Scotland
Author: Brooks, Darren
Awarding Body: University of Sunderland
Current Institution: University of Sunderland
Date of Award: 2013
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Abstract:
Ian Rankin is one of the world's best-selling authors of crime fiction. His series of Inspector Rebus novels, set in contemporary Edinburgh, have been translated into thirty-six languages and have achieved wide critical and commercial success. Yet for all its global reach, the Rebus series collectively asserts a more nuanced story: that of modern Scotland. The first novel, Knots & Crosses, was published in 1987, in the years after the failed devolution referendum of 1979 and in a decade of industrial tumult. In 2007, as 01 John Rebus was compelled to retire from Lothian and Borders Police in Exit Music, Scotland was an altogether different nation: now devolved from Westminster, with a definitively Scottish Parliament situated in Edinburgh, and the Scottish National Party elected to government for the first time. During the twenty years in between, Rankin's sustained crime fiction initiated the nation's first true crime writing tradition. This study explores the ways in which this series of crime novels collectively asserts a distinctive narration of modern Scotland. To do so, the series is 'de-integrated' for close, chronological study: the thesis is organised into four key chapters, and is bookended by introductory and concluding sections. Chapter 1 studies Rankin's first four Rebus novels, alongside influential themes of Scottish crime and literary history. Chapter 2 explores, via his next three novels, Rankin's representation of Edinburgh, and the sub-genre of crime fiction his work initiated. This chapter also includes specific analysis of his breakthrough novel, Black & Blue. Chapter 3 looks at how a pivotal two-book sequence 'disrupted' Rankin's narrative project, in light of his series' commercial success and its changing imperatives. Scotland's renewed selfdetermination is also explored briefly in relation to its symbiotic relationship to the growth of Scottish crime fiction. Chapter 4 explores the series' 'valedictory' novels, as we follow Rebus through to his statutory retirement. Crucially, the introduction presents selected ideas on narrative of French philosopher Paul Ricoeur, which I apply to the collected Rebus series. Through these ideas, Rankin's 'epic' story of modern Scotland can be discerned. The (in)conclusion considers briefly the possible future - or not - for crime fiction in Scotland as the nation prepares for its 2014 referendum on full independence from the United Kingdom. It is anticipated that this study will contribute to the growing corpus of literature seeking to understand the development of crime fiction in Scotland, and lan Rankin's work in particular. It is hoped - by its end - that it will assist in Rankin's selfconfessed interpretation of his Inspector Rebus series as a serious means of understanding contemporary Scotland.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.654719  DOI: Not available
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