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Sibelius Monument, Helsinki

It was a longish walk out from Helsinki city centre to this. Unfortunately we arrived just after three tour buses had disgorged loads of Chinese tourists, each of whom wanted a selfie in front of it. It took ages before I could get a people-free shot.

Sibelius, Helsinki

Sibelius Monument, Helsinki

Sibelius Monument, Helsinki

Sibelius, Helsinki, Finland

I must say that face reminded me of weel kent Scottish literary figure Hugh MacDiarmid.

From reverse:-

Sibelius Monument, Helsinki

Sibelius Monument, Helsinki

Some of the other tourists:-

People at Sibelius Monument, Helsinki

So here’s a bit of Sibelius for you. Finlandia, Op 26:-

A Short Survey of Classic Scottish Writing by Alasdair Gray

Canongate Pocket Classics, 2001, 159 p

Short History Scottish Fiction cover

The book is diminutive in size (16 cm tall, 11 wide) but not content. It rattles through the history of writing in and by Scots from Anglo-Saxon times till the early 20th century. It focuses on what Gray – and most other commentators – consider to be the best in the tradition; hence classic in the book’s title. More recent Scottish writing is deliberately excluded as being too close for a proper perspective.

Several of the works mentioned in the survey were of course overlooked or even derided on first publication and it is only with time their merits have come to be recognised. Overall, though, the literary output from this small nation is shown fit to stand comparison with any.

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