The Glass Half Full

The Glass Half Full


Moving Beyond Scottish Miserablism

Eleanor Yule, David Manderson

ISBN: 9781910021347

Binding: paperback

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Back cover text:

A self-help book for the Scottish psyche

Cultural Miserablism: the power of the negative story with no redemption and no escape, that wallows in its own bleakness.

Scotland is a small and immensely creative country. The role of the arts and culture is one that many are rightly proud of. But do we portray Scotland in the light we should?

There is a tendency in film, literature and other cultural output to portray the negative aspects of Scottish life. In The Glass Half Full, filmmaker Eleanor Yule and academic David Manderson explore the origins of this bleak take on Scottish life, its literary and cultural expressions, and how this phenomenon in film has risen to the level of a genre which audiences both domestic and international see as a recognisable story of contemporary Scotland.

What does miserablism tell us about ourselves? When did we become cultural victims? Is it time we move away from an image of Scotland that constantly casts itself as the poor relation?

From the Trainspotting to the Kailyard, The Glass Half Full confronts the negative Scotland we portray notonly to the world but, most importantly, ourselves.

Do [they] accurately reflect the reality of life in Scotland for the majority of the population or are they just ‘stories’ we like to tell ourselves about ourselves? - ELEANOR YULE

Our greatest export is the diversity of our fiction, the myriad of alternatives between its contrasts and all its new heroes and heroines. It’s time we knew it. - DAVID MANDERSON