Journey Without Ending. The Journals of WilliamSoutar
2001. 288 pp. ISBN-13 978-3-901993-10-7; ISBN-10 3-901993-10-X
Journey Without Ending is a fascinating and entertaining workwhich productively transgresses most of the seemingly relevant boundariesof genre. Prüger elucidates key areas of Soutar's thought on a rangeof topics - from love to symbolism, politics to sex. Her methods, however,are not merely the conventional academic ones. The whole book involvesa kind of heightened self-consciousness of the very act of its being written.There are fictional (necessarily!) letters from Soutar to Prüger;there are sustained stretches of ventriloquism when Soutar comments onthe evolving book 'in his own voice'. Frequently the author addresses herreaders directly, almost in the manner of, say, Fielding addressing thereader of Tom Jones. At one point the text incorporates a letterfrom Prince Charles! At times all this may seem arch or merely whimsical,but for the most part it proves effective, reminding the reader (and perhapsthe author) that this 'report' is necessarily partial and incomplete, thatit could have been (and should be) done in other ways too, with differentpatterns of emphasis, different principles of selection. There is muchinsight here, much entertainment. For anyone interested in Soutar, or inthe development of Scottish poetry and thought in the first half of thetwentieth century, this is surely essential reading.
Glyn Pursglove, Acumen 43, May 2002.
"I'm reading your book on Soutar's philosophy with immense admiration."- Tessa Ransford
"The book you have written about William Soutar and which I discoveredin the Scottish Poetry Library has given me much pleasure. It served alsoto help me with a study I was doing of him for part of my degree course.A grateful thanks to you for the work you have done in the study of myfavourite Scottish poet." - Edith Chesney
"Journey Without Ending: The Journals of William Soutar representsa mukkil contreibutioun til oor unnerstaunnin o the Scottish writer, poetan philosopher Wullie Soutar. As the teitil implies, the topic o this studieis mainlie the echt journals at Soutar keepit alang wi his diaries frae1930-40. Houane'er, it is nae dour Dominie's darg at confronts us whanwe apen the pages o this wyce-luikin buik; raither, what we encoonter isan unco creative an imaginative stravaig at taks as its creitical modelsthe 'alternative' methodologies o thinkers sik as Michel Foucalt and PaulFeyerabend. Nae creitic ither nor a bodie fair saturat in the wark o Soutarwad a haen the smeddum for ti adopt this buik's caller souch (for the risksir monie), but it is a tribute ti Dr. Prüger at she succeeds in makkinus believe that Soutar is still wi us. He cums across as a veive, breathin,thinkin, challengin man, whase peace-louin, weill-naiturt an guid-williephilosphie we ir sairlie wantin the-day. The buik is leiberallie strinkiltwi haund-drawn illustrations, portraits, photies an facseimiles o Soutar'scodices, as weill as a rowth o outwalins frae his journals an musardrie.The anelie disappyntin thing aboot this buik is at we hae ti pit it dounefter wi hae feinisht wi't. Frae whate'er heiven Heidelinde Prügercums, may it sen us anither dizzen sik as she!" - Kenneth D. Farrow, Lallans60, 2002
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