Highland Flings and CAN CANs: Dances with Recommendation Culture



Squires C (2021) Highland Flings and CAN CANs: Dances with Recommendation Culture. Scottish Literary Review, 13 (2), pp. 91-115.

This article is built upon the unusual conceit of reading books, novellas and short stories with the same title: Highland Fling. Within the history of reading as well as studies of current readership, the cultural, sociological and economic practices of how readers discover, are recommended, and consume their next title have received much attention. This article records an autoethnographic adventure of choosing to repeatedly read books with the same title. It unfolds aspects of 21st century reading, publishing (including self-publishing) and bookselling practices, as well as addressing constructions of Scottishness within a series of texts and genres. Reading Highland Flings – a dance with recommendation culture – has been an exercise in both randomised and over-directed reading, a foray into Scottishness, genre and cliché, and an exploration of originality, authenticity, and stereotype. The article also proposes a conceptual approach to repeated reading of the same title (CAN CAN), and the (COVID-19 generated) method of the Ullapoolist research fling.

Highland Fling; Ullapoolism; CAN CAN; research fling; reading practices; history of reading; self-publishing

Scottish Literary Review: Volume 13, Issue 2

Publication date31/12/2021
Publication date online08/12/2021
Date accepted by journal16/10/2021
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Professor Claire Squires

Professor Claire Squires

Professor in Publishing Studies, English Studies