August 24th, 2012


Who'd be a Justified Sinner?

I just read James Hogg's The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (1824) for the first time. What a strange book! Calvin links arms with Old Nick, and Dr Jekyll with Raskolnikov, and they all go for a Gothic walking tour of Scotland, set within a metatextual framework of double narratives, editorial apparatuses, and the rest. I think I had confused this book with Confessions of an English Opium Eater, published three years earlier, so it was quite a surprise.

It's not the best written story I've read this year, but it's certainly one of the most original, with some really quite frightening scenes.