Scottish literature has a history of experimentation, both in form and content. But what would happen if a handful of the legendary characters of the genre were subjected to an experiment outside their original authors’ control? Say, locked together in a cramped flat, Big Brother style, and forced to talk to one another?
Luckily for the curious among you, a transcript of just such an experiment exists. Here is an extract from it… (key to characters can be found below)
Jean Brodie: Give me a girl at an impressionable age and she is mine for life.
Thomas Begbie: Ah’m tellin’ ye, nae fucking cunt could sort oot ma wee Betsy.
John Rebus: I don’t think Jean was referring to pitbull cross bitches, Thomas.
Begbie: Ken what you are Rebus. Ye’re a fucking smartairse cunt.
Jean: But underneath that rough exterior lies a yearning artistic heart. Won’t you come with me to Italy, John. John. Look into my eyes, John…
Rebus: I’m feeling sleepy.
Harry Potter (aside): That’ll be my quaffleswidditch potion taking effect.
Hermione Granger: You mean my quaffleswidditch potion!! You couldn’t remember the recipe.
Begbie: Hey Doll. Yes, you. Care to come over and sit on old Uncle Begbie’s knee?
Harry: Don’t go, Hermione.
Hermione: I’ve got to Harry. I’ve got to make Ron jealous.
Jean: Sexual desire is an important quality to nourish in the human soul. Just ask Mussolini.
Begbie: That’s mair fucking like it, Jeanny-babes. Now pass me my skag.
Harry: Are you sure the policeman is the one possessed by Lord Voldemort?
Hermione: Only one way to find out…
To be continued. Possibly.
Key to characters
Jean Brodie: eponymous Edinbugh schoolteacher anti-hero of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark.
Thomas Begbie: ‘the psycho one’ in Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting, played by Robert Carlyle in the film.
John Rebus: Ian Rankin’s grizzled Edinburgh copper, veteran of fifteen novels and recently retired by his creator. Played on the small screen by the awesomely-nig-nosed Ken Stott.
Harry Potter: Young wizard, male, good at quidditch.
Hermione Granger: Young wizard, female, good at spells.