As a coherent and specifically focused movement the Scottish Literary Renaissance lasted into the late 1940s, while the writers of the ‘second wave’ carried that momentum into the 1960s. It follows that the contemporary scene might be said to commence between the late 1960s and early 1980s, with the appearance of two key texts, both enormously influential, namely Edwin Morgan’s collection The Second Life (1968) and Alasdair Gray’s Lanark (1981). These two books can be said to herald much that followed. Some critics see them as markers of a completely new start, while others talk of a ‘third wave’ of the Renaissance despite the fact that some younger writers would deny any connection to the original literary movement with its emphasis on political and linguistic nationalism and its various mythopoeic explorations of Scottishness. Be that as it may, the last thirty years of the twentieth century have been marked by a remarkable wealth of creative work in Scotland and it is difficult to imagine the liveliness of this contemporary scene without the foundations of cultural confidence that were first established in the 1920s.
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