*Printed 2013 during the author's lifetime by Word Power*
The prose in this collection falls mainly into three categories: literary, topical-political and personal. They overlap. Some of the literary criticism was written when John Linklater was literary editor of the Glasgow Herald. He let me choose which books to review and, unusually for a daily paper editor, let me have complete editing control on my copy to the usual limit of about a thousand words.
I am grateful to him for the space he thus gave me to pursue some lines of thought around writers such as Browning and Clare. Several of the fuller essays were written for the Edinburgh Review when Peter Kravitz was the editor in the eighties. Here too it was liberating to have the trust of an editor granting me as it were a space when I wanted to pursue ideas and, as these things work, to try to find out in words what I believe. The prose runs from an essay of 1973 written for Scottish International to some extracts this year from the journal I have maintained on my website since 2009.
The extracts from this journal overall are arranged in three separate sections under the title “From a Room in Scotland”. The letter which follows the article “A Taboo too Far” was not composed for publication but seemed appropriate to add as its composition is referred to in the article that precedes it; and I think it may be of practical use for some. A co-dependency between mendacity and violence seems to be a recurring theme over the years, for which creativity in and through art is put as one restorative bond of integrity of purpose.
Tom Leonard Glasgow, September 2012