A Gift from Nessus by William McIlvanney

By William McIlvanney

Eddie Cameron is a salesperson for Rocklight Ltd., an electric gear enterprise in Glasgow, the place he has been fiddling the firm's expenditures. Eddie's existence is in tatters - his spouse hates him, and his violent mood has left his mistress teetering at the fringe of sanity.

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56 While both were clearly making countermoves in a discourse, with Clare in particular struggling to break out of the demands eighteenth-century topographical poetry made upon him, both were making these moves in response to specific landscapes. To argue that both made moves within a discourse would be as incomplete as it was true, for it overlooks a descriptive element vital to giving the actor a reason for making his move. The contextualization of landscape studies, then, must look beyond language to visual, experiential, social, biographical and intellectual contexts in order to describe and thus contextualize more adequately, the specificity of a discussion of landscape.

59 Denham’s association of trade and topography continued to be important. Defoe viewed the land through the filter of trade, a concern summarized in Caledonia: Fitted for Commerce, and cut out for Trade; The Seas the Land, the Land the Seas invade. and: Nature, that well foreknows a Nation’s Fate Thus fitted Caledonia to be great. 60 Arguments of profit and trade also informed the literature on gardening. That the garden should be both profitable and pleasurable remained a common claim, manifesting itself later in the century in the ferme ornée and in the writings of improvers.

The whole notion of linking the two narratives, as cause and effect, was shown previously to be inadequate empirically. More fundamentally, this project was doomed from the outset as an example of ignoratio elenchi, conflating the historical and the scientific. 28 As such, no event can be ‘decisive’, or a ‘turning point’. 29 A certain view of historical explanation follows from this: it is by full description that we explain things in history, for this is the only way to Landscape History 31 recognize that in history no survival has a different status.

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