IRVINE WELSH: CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
Sponsored by The Centre for Open Learning
This novel was published when I was fifteen-years old and had just left school. I read it, like many others of my generation, with a sense of overwhelming recognition for a culture and language that we had not been seen by a writer of our times.
The style, intellect, drive, energy and sheer velocity of flawed humanity was compelling and influential.
For some reason I feel it is too often overlooked as a literary work that depicts a culture just as much as many other writers do in different ways — Down and Out in Paris and London by Orwell, Journey to the End of Night by Celine, The Yacoubian Building by Alaa Al-Aswaany, Alice Walker’s mighty novel The Color Purple, William Burroughs (who appears in Luckenbooth) or the inimitable and formidable intellect of James Baldwin, ZZ Packer, Hunter S. Thompson — so many more.
The idea that Scottish literature exists in a vacuum where, if it depicts working class culture, it can only contain a mono-reality that is resolutely inward, — is something that still bemuses me.
Trainspotting kicked many doors down, for good reason, it wasn’t playing nicely and it is all the better for it.