Hugh Reilly (Perspective, 4
December) is quite right to question the Educational Institute of Scotland’s reluctance to consider indigenous Scottish writers in the Higher English syllabus. But has he ever actually read anything by Walter Scott? I usually get to around page 43 and give up because of the impenetrable early 19th-century prose.
As for John Steinbeck’s novels being “misery laden”, they don’t begin to compare to that depressing “misery memoir” Sunset Song.
A student I know wrote about it on his Standard Grade exam paper: “This family should have been subject to monitoring by social services.” And he passed! Now, if Hugh means authors with lots of action and exciting descriptions, what about the rebel James Hogg, the great John Buchan, or the master, RL Stevenson? Or even James Boswell – some of his hair-raising adventures might even shock sophisticated 16-year-olds.
(Dr) Mary Brown