The Merrie Life and Dowie Death of Colickie Meg: An Unpublished Carotidian Drama

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The comic drama Colickie Meg is both an adaptation and a continuation of Carotid Cornucopius and is written in the same distinctive idiolect. Although extracts were published in the journals Lines Review and Jabberwock, it remains both unperformed and unpublished. This chapter examines the five extant manuscripts of Colickie Meg held by Edinburgh University Library and the National Library of Scotland. It first traces a compositional history of the play, focusing, in particular, on early drafts that cast significant light on Smith’s creative processes and reveal that his most intensive work on Colickie Meg occurred earlier (1949–50) than has been appreciated. It next provides a brief summary of the play’s action before analysing in depth its relationship to Carotid Cornucopius. It shows that the drama downplays the novel’s political components and amplifies its mythical subtexts while offering clues as to why Smith did not extend Carotid Cornucopius beyond the existing eight ‘fitts’. It finally identifies factors – largely connected to its spectacular multimedia nature – that may have prevented Colickie Meg from reaching either page or stage.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSydney Goodsir Smith, Poet
Subtitle of host publicationEssays on his Life and Work
Place of PublicationLeiden
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-04-42649-8
ISBN (Print)978-90-04-42510-1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2020

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Sydney Goodsir Smith
  • Scottish Literature
  • Scottish Theatre


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