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Coast to Coast

Interviews and Conversations 1985-1995
Collected and with an introduction by Norman Bissell.
Glasgow, Mythic Horse Press, 1996.

Editor's presentation    

     These interviews and conversations provide the first real oppportunity in English to see the whole White picture : his thought-path, his teaching, his poetics, his way of being in the world.
     Their range is wide : taking us on his journey from the Gorbals via Fairlie to Britany, calling in on Basho, Thoreau and Nietzsche, the medieval Scotus vagans and  Scottish Common Sense philosophy, on the way.
     New concepts such as erotic logic, white world, supernihilism, intellectual nomad and geopoetics are sharply illuminated in White’s bright, image-filled talk.
     In the process, he reveals much about his life : why he left Scotland for France, his work at the Sorbonne and how he came to write books like The Blue Road and Pilgrim of the Void.
     Kenneth White is much more than a prolific writer. He is a pathfinder, an explorer in whom living and thinking come together.


Introduction by Norman Bissell.
A Geographer of the Mind, with Elizabeth Lyon for the newspaper Artwork.
Along the Blue Road, with Jonathan Fraser in Paris.
The Limits of Literature, with Matthew Graves for Res magazine.
At the Sign of the Rosy Gull, with David Kings for the review Atlas.
An Intellecutal Nomad, with Hugh Macpherson for Scottish Book Collector magazine.
Open Poetics, with David Kinloch for Verse magazine.
On the Edge, with Pierre Lagayette for the review Americana.
Following out World Lines, with Alistair Paterson for Circles magazine.
An Unaccustomed Resonance, with Rosalind Brackenbury for Resurgence magazine.
The Scot Abroad, with Lesley Duncan for The Herald newspaper.
A New Energy-field, with Norman Bissell for Open World magazine.
From the Centred Complex, with Tony McManus for The Edinburgh Review.

In Coast to Coast, Kenneth White answers questions directly, cogently, and speaks with clarity and confidence.  […] In his lucidity and persuasiveness, White makes us realise that we need more than an ecological movement. […] Geopoetics looks at the evidence of enlightened ways in many cultures – ancient Celtic, Amerindian, Taoist, Buddhist – as well as the writings of those travelling singular paths in the West, such as Nietzsche, or Whitman, to find pointers that can “open up a new space” in our own culture, and get us out of it, and beyond it.
     Matt Ewart, The Scotsman

As one who has read five books by and one about Mr White, I have no difficulty in calling his work immediately enjoyable and endlessly worth reflecting upon : just why, though, is hard to say. This is not because he is an obscure writer, although he is a profound one ; for someone of his erudition he is a miracle of clarity, even if the clarity is often that of paradox. […]
Coast to Coast consists of a dozen interviews with different people […]. The interviews are interesting in themselves and invaluable, not so much for the light they may throw upon Mr White’s writing but as an integral part of it. […]
Whether you come to Mr White by way of the poems, the way-books or the interviews, an interesting time is guaranteed. Scotland’s greastest living writer ? There are plenty of people who think so.
     Petronius, Journal of the Law Society of Scotland