Glasgow fromZtoA

Glasgow fromZtoA is the second guidebook in the series, available spring 2014. Like Edinburgh fromZtoA, it takes six psychogeographic journeys through places and hinterlands parallel to the day-to-day life of the city.

Most people who aren’t aware of the other in Glasgow will associate the city with either rivalry through football, ribaldry through the musichall or mockintosh – the humiliation of sensitivity. None of these are true, each are truisms. What I’ve discovered, from a first explore through govan and the cctv-less george V docks in 1983, to walking the city daily at the moment, is a sense of independence, a pioneer spirit, a reaching out by outcasts, a tribe in exile in a western wilderness, somehow overlooked up to and even beyond the mediaeval period by the powers in Edinburgh – ironically founded by the wester-coaster McAlpin clique.

Neal Ascherson’s book Stone Voices is a start if you’re looking for the roots of this alternative scotland. If Dunfermline is Edinburgh’s birthplace, Dunadd is Glasgow’s. Glasgow is clearly a celtic place – Edinburgh clearly not.

I’ve also come to understand Margaret MacDonald and Charles Mackintosh in an unexpected way recently. Its mostly about the collective unconscious – something I recognised about Mackintosh many years ago, whilst visiting the Steelcase headquarters in Grand Rapids, which has a museum of Mackintosh and Lloyd Wright furniture – but also an expression of the singularity of place/renewal/creation translated through their well-known symbolism of rose and tree. Glasgow might be centred on Sauchiehall street – the willow meadow, rather than the Bridge of Sighs. When MacDonald paraphrases Rossetti’s Oh ye, all ye that walk in Willowood, she’s not talking about ladies who lunch.

In the meantime, if you’re a visitor looking for non-touristy info, start here – Hidden Glasgow and here – Glasgow’s Secret Geometry – The Devil’s Plantation.

update July 2011
I was lucky enough to spend some time at Dunadd and Kilmartin Glen in July 2011 – images to be posted on flickr

Glasgow fromZtoA will be available to purchase as 248pp PDF download at from summer 2013 – click to receive a preview invite

all images and texts © Edward Alexander 2013

from Z to A is a scotland-based psychogeography and urban topography magazine featuring creative, critical, playful urban journeys

© Edward Alexander : from Z to A 1991-2013 | All Rights reserved | Please credit if you use content | All other content © the owners and credited as such

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