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This study examines, firstly, how Robert Burns dissolves monolithic systems that underpin both hegemonic tyranny and revolutionary fanaticism and, secondly, how he constructs an agrarian social vision based upon simple comfort and ample affection. The interconnected processes of dissolution and construction are elucidated through analysing the parallels between Burns and Adam Smith, whose ethical and economic treatises Burns perused, possessed, praised, and even versified. The first section looks at how Burns, broadening the semantic field of Mackenzie’s condescending epithet “Heaven-taught,” challenges monolithic values from a social and cultural marginal space. This section argues that Burns’s distrust of monolithic ideologies is mirrored in his praise of Virgil’s Georgics, in his criticism of the Eclogues, and in his disappointment in the Aeneid. The second section explores the affinities between the social visions of Burns and Smith, which demonstrate resilient tolerance and realistic complexity, as opposed to hegemonic tyranny and revolutionary excess. Instead of focusing on Burns’s radicalism, this section examines “To a Mouse,” “The Twa Dogs,” and “The Cotter’s Saturday Night,” all of which uphold a social system based upon benevolent paternalism. The third section concentrates on the rural nature of Smith’s and Burns’s social visions and argues that both writers favour a humble agrarian tradition at odds with the mainstream agricultural discourse in contemporary Britain. This section analyses “The Brigs of Ayr” and contends that Burns, creating an all-embracing allegorical vision of seasonal flux, “eydent” labour, and rural virtue, gives agriculture the power of dissolving monolithic ideologies. This study thus moves from Burns’s challenge of monolithic values to his construction of a nuanced agrarian vision that shares enlightening similarities with Smith’s moral and economic theories.

KEYWORDS: Robert Burns, Adam Smith, ideology, identity, social vision, agrarian ideal

摘 要

本文探討蘇格蘭詩人羅伯特.彭斯(Robert Burns)如 何解構支撐霸權政治與革命狂熱的思想體系,同時解釋彭 斯如何建構以農業為基石的理想社會觀。這個解構與建構 的歷程,可以從彭斯與同時代蘇格蘭哲學家亞當.史密斯 (Adam Smith)的思想交集看出端倪。彭斯曾經閱讀、收 藏並讚美史密斯的道德哲學與政治經濟論著,甚至將其思 想寫入詩文之中。本文第一部份解析彭斯特殊、難以定義 的詩人身份。彭斯化用麥肯錫(Henry Mackenzie)給他的 「天授的莊稼漢」(Heaven-taught Ploughman)稱號,從社 會與文化的邊緣位置挑戰主流意識形態。彭斯對抽象意識 形態的質疑,反映於他對羅馬詩人維吉爾(Virgil)《農 詩》(Georgics)的讚賞,對《牧歌》(Eclogues)的批 評,以及對《埃涅阿斯紀》(Aeneid)的失望。本文第二部 份勾勒彭斯與史密斯社會觀的異同。相對於極端意識形態 的閉鎖性與同質性,兩位作家皆主張一種具有延展性與異 質性的理想社會觀。彭斯的〈致老鼠〉(“To a Mouse”)、 〈兩隻狗〉(“The Twa Dogs”)以及〈佃農的周末夜〉 (“The Cotter’s Saturday Night”)即展現這種社會觀,並呈 現舊時代的家長社會(benevolent paternalism)觀念。本文 第三部份聚焦於彭斯與史密斯社會觀中的農村特質。兩者 所認同的農村傳統皆迥異於當時英國的主流農業論述。於 〈艾爾的橋〉(“The Brigs of Ayr”)一詩中,彭斯創造出一 個構築於季節流轉、辛勤勞動與農村美德之上的美好願 景,並賦予這個願景解構極端意識形態的力量。藉由細論