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New Shetlander Cover 255

Issue No 255 - Voar 2011

The Voar issue of the New Shetlander leads with a fine new story from Jim Taylor, Rough crossing, told in the voice of a Polish girl working in Shetland. Jim Mainland, thinking of the state of the nation, writes satirically of My Travails in ye Bigge Society.

Brydon Leslie contributes Two modern sagamen: a literary study of national identity, examining books by Iceland’s Halldor Laxness and Norway’s Knut Hamsun, both Nobel laureates, while Willie Thompson has made a study of Laxness’ Nobel-Prizewinning novel Independent People, and compares it with Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s classic Sunset Song

The magnificent sold gold ‘Oxna armlet’, which dates from Viking times, was discovered in Oxna in 1913 by a boy from Hamnavoe, James Fullerton. The story of the armlet’s discovery and identification is told here by Margaret Stuart, whose aunt Elizabeth Stout was the person who realised what the beautiful piece of jewellery actually was.

Christopher Jamieson’s story Unidentified drink takes place just after a funeral, and has captured something of the feelings and atmosphere of some such moments. James Sinclair’s story Legging it has a breathless pace. Christian Tait has re-told the fable Da hare an da tortoise in lightsome Shetland dialect, with the race finish-line in Lochside. Young Dialect Writer of 2010 was Peter Ratter; his story is Da perishin Nort.

In Shetland there is frequent discussion about, and occasional research into the loss of dialect vocabulary. Ian Tait has decided to investigate one word for himself: the word ‘heck’ (in various spellings). His article, A heck of a loss, looks at four distinct original usages of the word, analyses where the usages seem to have come from, and considers why they fell out of use.

Bobby Gear has been studying Some Nesting place names; his informative article has photographs and a clear map. Tim Senften has written about Seven specks of gold found in Unst, based on research in the Sandison archives in Baltasound.

Mary Manson of West Sandwick, who died in 1994, was known in Yell for her storytelling and her excellent memory. Lynn Abrams’ article The story of the two men in the snow features a transcript of a story told by Mary Manson to Robert Johnson in 1982. Then Abrams looks at the historical evidence behind the story, the storyteller’s skill, and the reasons for telling the story in a particular way.

Poets Christine De Luca and Christie Williamson each have several poems in this issue, with contributions also from Gordon Dargie, Laureen Johnson, and Heyddir Johnson, whose poem is in memory of Jack Renwick.

Da Wadder Eye is enraged at threats to the funding of public libraries, and concerned about local apathy in community council elections. There are book reviews as usual. The editorial muses on wirkin da voar in 2011. 

New Shetlander No 255 is on sale from Friday 11 March, priced at £2.

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