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Robert Burns, Antiquarianism and Alloway Kirk: The Perception and Reception of Literary Place-making and the ‘Historic’ Monument

Robert Burns, Antiquarianism and Alloway Kirk: The Perception and Reception of Literary... Ranald MacInnes This paper investigates the architectural effects of literary place-making on historic monuments through the example of Robert Burns's poem Tam o' Shanter and the scene of its main action, Old Alloway Kirk. The background to antiquarian representation of the monument ­ with particular reference to Francis Grose's contribution ­ and its re-imagining by Burns is discussed along with the church's early designation as an ancient monument by the state. The form of a representation cannot be divorced from its purpose and the requirements of the society in which the given visual language gains currency.1 Robert Burns is thought of as a poet of the imagination, the feelings and the intellect: a poet who deals with ideas and personal relationships. However, Burns is also the most grounded of poets, connected with place to an extraordinary extent. Burns framed much of his sensational poetry and songs around a very vivid connection to actual places, to the extent that these places ­ real and imagined (or real and imagined) ­ became valued in their own right as part of what we would now call the material culture: things which have a cultural significance beyond their physicality, in some cases http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Architectural Heritage Edinburgh University Press

Robert Burns, Antiquarianism and Alloway Kirk: The Perception and Reception of Literary Place-making and the ‘Historic’ Monument

Architectural Heritage , Volume 24 (1): 1 – Nov 1, 2013

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
© The Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland, 2013
Subject
Historical Studies
ISSN
1350-7524
eISSN
1755-1641
DOI
10.3366/arch.2013.0043
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Ranald MacInnes This paper investigates the architectural effects of literary place-making on historic monuments through the example of Robert Burns's poem Tam o' Shanter and the scene of its main action, Old Alloway Kirk. The background to antiquarian representation of the monument ­ with particular reference to Francis Grose's contribution ­ and its re-imagining by Burns is discussed along with the church's early designation as an ancient monument by the state. The form of a representation cannot be divorced from its purpose and the requirements of the society in which the given visual language gains currency.1 Robert Burns is thought of as a poet of the imagination, the feelings and the intellect: a poet who deals with ideas and personal relationships. However, Burns is also the most grounded of poets, connected with place to an extraordinary extent. Burns framed much of his sensational poetry and songs around a very vivid connection to actual places, to the extent that these places ­ real and imagined (or real and imagined) ­ became valued in their own right as part of what we would now call the material culture: things which have a cultural significance beyond their physicality, in some cases

Journal

Architectural HeritageEdinburgh University Press

Published: Nov 1, 2013

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