Extract from Scotland Your Scotland, EIBF 2017

On Wednesday 16th August Andrew O’Hagan was invited by the Edinburgh International Book Festival to deliver a keynote lecture on the future of Scotland. O’Hagan argues the question is now beyond nationalism but about the country’s potential as a progressive, enlightened, international country of the future. The Fountain is pleased to publish an extract from the beginning of the keynote.

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Laura Cumming: The honour of winning this prize

Entering the main entrance, past the ticket booths and into the picturesque garden area of Charlotte Gardens, one would be forgiven for forgetting the roaring hustle and bustle of the Edinburgh Fringe situated on the opposite side of Princes Street. But here we are now, in a quaint area of Scotland’s capital where the 70th Edinburgh International Book Festival is being held; where old and young, student and professor alike nestle captivated eyes into books big and small. 

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Mark Thomas: Grenfell is a national screaming wound

Mark Thomas, Fringe veteran and activist has arranged a unique benefit at New Town Theatre tonight that aids the two legal charities supporting the victims of Grenfell Tower.
The Fountain spoke with Mark about the organisations that will receive every penny that is spent on this stellar-billed event, which includes the likes of Sara Pascoe and Stephen K Amos, and the work that he is doing back in London to support the victims of this atrocity.

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Michael Pedersen: They are fantastically bizarre, confusing and conflicting aliens

“I want this to be a poetry book for people that don’t normally read poetry.”
That’s how Michael Pedersen described his new collection in a conversation with The Fountain. Created in collaboration with Frightened Rabbit’s lead singer Scott Hutchison, Oyster is Pedersen’s second publication with Polygon Books, a tragic yet playful collection of poetry and illustrations.

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Shona Thomson: Bringing films home

As we sit down on the terrace just off the food court of Ocean Terminal, the first thing that comes to Shona Thomson’s mind is to check her MarineTraffic app.  I haven’t heard of it, and she pulls out her phone to show me as it checks her location, then proceeds to provide information on the ships we can see moored in the Leith docks in front of us: a Bahamas-registered cruise ship bound for Kirkwall, and a buoy-laying vessel built in 2000.  Shona’s Twitter handle is @urbantwitcher and, whether or not the Leith docks count as urban, there is a sense that these boats are in contention for becoming this moment’s rare birds.

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