The Scottish Review earlier this week. Click on the link, if you'd like to read more. The Scottish Review has an ever widening circulation and the response to this piece has been overwhelmingly positive - it seemed to strike a chord with all kinds of people as the film struck a chord with me and many others. But the overall media response to this film seems to have been fairly muted, which is sad. I do sometimes wonder if writers and artists are culpable too. And I don't exempt myself.
I've written what's known as 'issue based drama' in my day - quite a lot of it - but it sometimes seems to me as though too many poets, novelists and playwrights take a conscious decision to shy away from uncomfortable subjects. Perhaps we recognise that such writing will be hard to sell, hard to place in the current difficult market. And so many of us are struggling anyway. And when all is said and done, you can only write what you feel strongly about at the time. But still, I do sometimes find myself wondering, where is our Dickens? Where, for that matter, is our Robert Burns, writing passionately about poverty and injustice as well as about love?