Ùrachadh mu Dheireadh 22/05/2017
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TIOTAL
Earrann bho 'Light in the North'
EXTERNAL ID
PC_NEILGUNNTRUST_01
DEIT
1972
LINN
1970an
CRUTHADAIR
Neil Gunn
NEACH-FIOSRACHAIDH
Urras Nèill Ghunnaich
AITHNEACHADH MAOINE
41313
KEYWORDS
litreachas
claistinneach
cruthan-tìre litreachais
ùghdaran

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'S ann o 'Light in the North', film foghlaim dèanta ann an 1972, a tha an earrann fuaim seo, film anns a bheil an t-ùghdar Niall Gunnach a' bruidhinn ri Seòras Brus (bàrd agus deasaiche BBC roimhe) mu a bheatha 's a chuid obrach. 'S ann le cead o Arclann Sgrion Albannach aig Leabharlann Nàiseanta na h-Alba agus oighreachd Nèill Ghunnaich a tha an earrann.

Neil Gunn: 'This is Dunbeath, the place where I was born and grew up. It's in Caithness, the most northerly county in Scotland. The fishermen and crofters of the community had a long history behind them. My father was the owner/skipper of a fishing boat. The crew he engaged for the fishing came from the west and one or two of them from the outer isles stick in memory to this day. When I started writing I wrote about the Highlands, about the places we fished as youngsters but we were careful not to let our parents hear we were fishing in such dangerous waters.

The bay is about the only place on this coast where the Vikings could land and hauled up the longships. We went there for seaweed and tangles and for the mussel bait the fishermen used for their small lines. As I climbed up the beach I still remember the rumbling sound of the stones. Something of this I tried to put into 'Morning Tide'.

'The beach sloped in clean grey-blue stones rounded and smooth, some no bigger than his fist, but some larger than his head. As he stepped on them they slithered and rolled with a sea noise. The noise rose up and roared upon the dusk like a wave. All around no life was to be seen. There was no movement but the sea's.'

When I wrote that part at the beginning of 'Morning Tide' I was describing a fact. But after, the whole scene in the ebb gathered a symbolism. I saw life itself coming from the sea, then, coming back again over perhaps millions of years until at last it reached the dry land. 'Morning Tide' was a decisive event in my writing.

Finally, I got to the stage when I had to make up my mind whether I would carry on with my work in the Civil Service or make a full-time job of my writing. Well, I decided to go for the novel.

George Bruce: And how did you begin?

Neil Gunn: I bought a boat.

George Bruce: Well, that really sounds a very odd way for a writer to begin and yet, of course, it took you back to your ancestors, didn't it, that particular thing you did?

Neil Gunn: That's right.

George Bruce: How did you proceed?

Neil Gunn: Well, I had a friend, a Skye man, who had called on me and we were talking about things - he's a good Gaelic singer and so on - and before he, just as he was going out I said to him, 'Look, Hugh, do you know of any smart craft that I could buy anywhere for my wife and myself to go through the, do the west coast and the outer islands? And he stopped and said, 'Man, I know the very thing. I saw her in Skye last week. And she's mahogany from the keep up. She has a cabin you can dance in, a water basin that tips up, and a lavatory that costs over £20.

So we left the following morning for Skye and so began some months of a life that is, that remains very memorable. Even that first night in Skye I attended what was really one of the most intimately carried ceilidh that I'd ever really lived through, so much so that - I was expecting three distinguished guests that night in Inverness - and I only remembered their existence at six o'clock in the morning. So, by this time, I think secret diplomacies had been going on with my friends, you see, and the owner of the boat, because there was a final confrontation. And one man said, 'I think that this is the case where the right thing to do - having considered every point - would be to split the difference.' And the owner and myself looked at each other. His hand came out and mine went out, and so I became the owner of the boat.

Now we had to head it home pretty fast and he had a car with six cylinders in it, so that if your toe wandered lightly onto it, it charged like a Spanish bull, and we were not at first in the frame of mind to deal with that, but we split it up into about twenty minutes a time as we drove home, and got home safely. And there was my wife and she smiled before I could open my mouth, and she knew that I had got the boat, I suppose, and I told her that she was engaged as the whole crew.

George Bruce: Now, these three distinguished guests...?

Well, actually they, after I'd told them I'd bought the boat, they were very generous. The first was George Blake, an old friend of mine - they were three directors by the way, of my publishers, Faber and Faber - and George Blake said he would give me an almanac, a special one, and sailing directions for the west coast. Frank Morley said he would set an engine in the bow of my boat for taking pot-shots at enemy submarines. But T S Elliot, being a poet, said, 'And I may give you a keg of rum.'

You see, I wrote of practical experience and behind me were the people who worked the land and fished the sea. My book, 'The Silver Darlings' is about the effects of the herring industry in a small community. It begins by telling about some crofters whose land has been taken from them and who had to try to make a living out of the sea. In the book I describe their first attempt.

'They had never been so far out from land and the slow movement of the sea became a living motion under them. It brimmed up against the boat and it choked its own mouth, then moved away, and came again, and moved away, without end, slow, heedless and terrible, its power restrained, like the power in some great invisible bull.

These men had to try to make a living from the element which was foreign to them. Near the end of the book seamen, however, look back to their native land as they come from the fishing grounds and they understand more about the place where they live. Sailing along the coast of one's native land was a new way of reading history, a detached way, so that instead of being embroiled in it, one looked on. Here, the castle itself, there the ruin, yonder the parish church, and everywhere the croft houses. Morven, the sailors' landfall, was as clear in outline as the pap before it. The long, low sweep of the land rose and fell. One saw its beginning and its end; the ultimate horizon line of moor, the near gully that fell into the sea.

The water of Dunbeath flowed through the Strath in my boyhood. This ancient wall by the riverside guards the Hill of Peace, where once there was a Christian settlement. Judging by the huge mounds of stone it must have been a large one. There's no record of violence against those missionaries whose message was to replace the older religion. All the elements of life seemed to come together here. So a boy was more alive here in the present and in the past than almost anywhere else. The Strath was for me in those early days an immortal Strath. It was youth's playground - a place for natural life.

Near the Hill of Peace was a Pictish broch. The Picts worshipped different gods. We were told it was more than two thousand years old. I remember as a boy going in to the first time through the twelve-foot thick wall. Time fell away. I was in another world.'


B' e fear ainmeil a sgrìobh iomadh nobhail is dràma a bh' ann an Neil Gunn (1891-1973), fear a bha na phrìomh sgrìobhaiche ann an Linn an Ath-bheothachaidh ann an Alba. Tha a nobhailean air an suidheachadh sa Ghàidhealtachd, ach tha iad feallsanachail, smuaineachail nan dreach agus samhlachail nan nàdar, a' nochdadh ghnothaichean cudromach an là. 'S ann à Dùn Beithe an Gallaibh a bha Neil, agus chaidh e a-steach don t-Seirbheis Chatharra ann an 1911, a' cur seachad ùine ann an Lunnainn 's ann an Dùn Èideann mus do thill e gu Tuath na oifigear aig luchd na Cusbainn, air a stèidheachadh ann an Inbhir Nis.

Tha a chiad nobhail, 'The Grey Coast' (1926), suidhichte ann an Gallaibh sna 1920an. Chùm e air a' sgrìobhadh nobhailean agus a' cur artaigilean a-steach gu irisean is phàipearan. An dèidh a chlò-bhualadh shoirbheachail 'Highland River' (1937), leig Neil Gunn seachad gu saor-thoileach a dhreuchd leis an Riaghaltas gus am b' urrainn dha sgrìobhadh làn ùine. Ghluais e gu Fodhraitidh, faisg air Inbhir Pheofharain, far an do chùm e a' dol a' leasachadh a dhreuchd fhèin. 'S e fèin-eachdraidh de làithean òige a tha na leabhar mu dheireadh 'The Atom of Delight'.

Ann an 1948 chaidh an obair aige ann an litreachas aithneachadh le Oilthigh Dhùn Èideann nuair a thug iad seachad dha dotaireachd urramach; ann an 1972 chruthaich Comhairle Ealain na h-Alba 'Caidreabh Neil Gunn' na urram dha. Tha duais sgrìobhaidh Nèill Ghuinne ann cuideachd, air a dhèanamh a h-uile dàrna bliadhna agus air a rianachadh le Comhairle na Gàidhealtachd agus le Urras Neil Gunn.

Airson stiùireadh mu bhith a’ cleachdadh ìomhaighean agus susbaint eile, faicibh duilleag ‘Na Cumhaichean air Fad.’
’S e companaidh cuibhrichte fo bharantas clàraichte ann an Alba Àir. SC407011 agus carthannas clàraichte Albannach Àir. SC042593 a th’ ann an High Life na Gàidhealtachd.
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Earrann bho 'Light in the North'

1970an

litreachas; claistinneach; cruthan-tìre litreachais; ùghdaran

Urras Nèill Ghunnaich

'S ann o 'Light in the North', film foghlaim dèanta ann an 1972, a tha an earrann fuaim seo, film anns a bheil an t-ùghdar Niall Gunnach a' bruidhinn ri Seòras Brus (bàrd agus deasaiche BBC roimhe) mu a bheatha 's a chuid obrach. 'S ann le cead o Arclann Sgrion Albannach aig Leabharlann Nàiseanta na h-Alba agus oighreachd Nèill Ghunnaich a tha an earrann. <br /> <br /> Neil Gunn: 'This is Dunbeath, the place where I was born and grew up. It's in Caithness, the most northerly county in Scotland. The fishermen and crofters of the community had a long history behind them. My father was the owner/skipper of a fishing boat. The crew he engaged for the fishing came from the west and one or two of them from the outer isles stick in memory to this day. When I started writing I wrote about the Highlands, about the places we fished as youngsters but we were careful not to let our parents hear we were fishing in such dangerous waters.<br /> <br /> The bay is about the only place on this coast where the Vikings could land and hauled up the longships. We went there for seaweed and tangles and for the mussel bait the fishermen used for their small lines. As I climbed up the beach I still remember the rumbling sound of the stones. Something of this I tried to put into 'Morning Tide'.<br /> <br /> 'The beach sloped in clean grey-blue stones rounded and smooth, some no bigger than his fist, but some larger than his head. As he stepped on them they slithered and rolled with a sea noise. The noise rose up and roared upon the dusk like a wave. All around no life was to be seen. There was no movement but the sea's.'<br /> <br /> When I wrote that part at the beginning of 'Morning Tide' I was describing a fact. But after, the whole scene in the ebb gathered a symbolism. I saw life itself coming from the sea, then, coming back again over perhaps millions of years until at last it reached the dry land. 'Morning Tide' was a decisive event in my writing. <br /> <br /> Finally, I got to the stage when I had to make up my mind whether I would carry on with my work in the Civil Service or make a full-time job of my writing. Well, I decided to go for the novel.<br /> <br /> George Bruce: And how did you begin?<br /> <br /> Neil Gunn: I bought a boat.<br /> <br /> George Bruce: Well, that really sounds a very odd way for a writer to begin and yet, of course, it took you back to your ancestors, didn't it, that particular thing you did?<br /> <br /> Neil Gunn: That's right.<br /> <br /> George Bruce: How did you proceed?<br /> <br /> Neil Gunn: Well, I had a friend, a Skye man, who had called on me and we were talking about things - he's a good Gaelic singer and so on - and before he, just as he was going out I said to him, 'Look, Hugh, do you know of any smart craft that I could buy anywhere for my wife and myself to go through the, do the west coast and the outer islands? And he stopped and said, 'Man, I know the very thing. I saw her in Skye last week. And she's mahogany from the keep up. She has a cabin you can dance in, a water basin that tips up, and a lavatory that costs over £20.<br /> <br /> So we left the following morning for Skye and so began some months of a life that is, that remains very memorable. Even that first night in Skye I attended what was really one of the most intimately carried ceilidh that I'd ever really lived through, so much so that - I was expecting three distinguished guests that night in Inverness - and I only remembered their existence at six o'clock in the morning. So, by this time, I think secret diplomacies had been going on with my friends, you see, and the owner of the boat, because there was a final confrontation. And one man said, 'I think that this is the case where the right thing to do - having considered every point - would be to split the difference.' And the owner and myself looked at each other. His hand came out and mine went out, and so I became the owner of the boat. <br /> <br /> Now we had to head it home pretty fast and he had a car with six cylinders in it, so that if your toe wandered lightly onto it, it charged like a Spanish bull, and we were not at first in the frame of mind to deal with that, but we split it up into about twenty minutes a time as we drove home, and got home safely. And there was my wife and she smiled before I could open my mouth, and she knew that I had got the boat, I suppose, and I told her that she was engaged as the whole crew. <br /> <br /> George Bruce: Now, these three distinguished guests...?<br /> <br /> Well, actually they, after I'd told them I'd bought the boat, they were very generous. The first was George Blake, an old friend of mine - they were three directors by the way, of my publishers, Faber and Faber - and George Blake said he would give me an almanac, a special one, and sailing directions for the west coast. Frank Morley said he would set an engine in the bow of my boat for taking pot-shots at enemy submarines. But T S Elliot, being a poet, said, 'And I may give you a keg of rum.'<br /> <br /> You see, I wrote of practical experience and behind me were the people who worked the land and fished the sea. My book, 'The Silver Darlings' is about the effects of the herring industry in a small community. It begins by telling about some crofters whose land has been taken from them and who had to try to make a living out of the sea. In the book I describe their first attempt.<br /> <br /> 'They had never been so far out from land and the slow movement of the sea became a living motion under them. It brimmed up against the boat and it choked its own mouth, then moved away, and came again, and moved away, without end, slow, heedless and terrible, its power restrained, like the power in some great invisible bull.<br /> <br /> These men had to try to make a living from the element which was foreign to them. Near the end of the book seamen, however, look back to their native land as they come from the fishing grounds and they understand more about the place where they live. Sailing along the coast of one's native land was a new way of reading history, a detached way, so that instead of being embroiled in it, one looked on. Here, the castle itself, there the ruin, yonder the parish church, and everywhere the croft houses. Morven, the sailors' landfall, was as clear in outline as the pap before it. The long, low sweep of the land rose and fell. One saw its beginning and its end; the ultimate horizon line of moor, the near gully that fell into the sea.<br /> <br /> The water of Dunbeath flowed through the Strath in my boyhood. This ancient wall by the riverside guards the Hill of Peace, where once there was a Christian settlement. Judging by the huge mounds of stone it must have been a large one. There's no record of violence against those missionaries whose message was to replace the older religion. All the elements of life seemed to come together here. So a boy was more alive here in the present and in the past than almost anywhere else. The Strath was for me in those early days an immortal Strath. It was youth's playground - a place for natural life.<br /> <br /> Near the Hill of Peace was a Pictish broch. The Picts worshipped different gods. We were told it was more than two thousand years old. I remember as a boy going in to the first time through the twelve-foot thick wall. Time fell away. I was in another world.'<br /> <br /> <br /> B' e fear ainmeil a sgrìobh iomadh nobhail is dràma a bh' ann an Neil Gunn (1891-1973), fear a bha na phrìomh sgrìobhaiche ann an Linn an Ath-bheothachaidh ann an Alba. Tha a nobhailean air an suidheachadh sa Ghàidhealtachd, ach tha iad feallsanachail, smuaineachail nan dreach agus samhlachail nan nàdar, a' nochdadh ghnothaichean cudromach an là. 'S ann à Dùn Beithe an Gallaibh a bha Neil, agus chaidh e a-steach don t-Seirbheis Chatharra ann an 1911, a' cur seachad ùine ann an Lunnainn 's ann an Dùn Èideann mus do thill e gu Tuath na oifigear aig luchd na Cusbainn, air a stèidheachadh ann an Inbhir Nis. <br /> <br /> Tha a chiad nobhail, 'The Grey Coast' (1926), suidhichte ann an Gallaibh sna 1920an. Chùm e air a' sgrìobhadh nobhailean agus a' cur artaigilean a-steach gu irisean is phàipearan. An dèidh a chlò-bhualadh shoirbheachail 'Highland River' (1937), leig Neil Gunn seachad gu saor-thoileach a dhreuchd leis an Riaghaltas gus am b' urrainn dha sgrìobhadh làn ùine. Ghluais e gu Fodhraitidh, faisg air Inbhir Pheofharain, far an do chùm e a' dol a' leasachadh a dhreuchd fhèin. 'S e fèin-eachdraidh de làithean òige a tha na leabhar mu dheireadh 'The Atom of Delight'.<br /> <br /> Ann an 1948 chaidh an obair aige ann an litreachas aithneachadh le Oilthigh Dhùn Èideann nuair a thug iad seachad dha dotaireachd urramach; ann an 1972 chruthaich Comhairle Ealain na h-Alba 'Caidreabh Neil Gunn' na urram dha. Tha duais sgrìobhaidh Nèill Ghuinne ann cuideachd, air a dhèanamh a h-uile dàrna bliadhna agus air a rianachadh le Comhairle na Gàidhealtachd agus le Urras Neil Gunn.