VaRiED COLLECTION: Journalist Jackie Kemp has compiled a selection of her father Arnold's work to mark the 10th anniversary of his death. Picture: Kirsty Anderson
Edited by his daughter, the journalist Jackie Kemp, it marks the 10th anniversary of his sudden death at the age of 63.
Much of what Kemp wrote in the late 20th century has proved particularly apposite to present-day politics, especially in Scotland with the post-devolution rise of the SNP.
"I have no idea what he would say about current politics but I think he would have found it an exciting time and he would have been very engaged and interested. The Scottish Parliament has had a number of notable achievements such as land reform and I think he would have been very excited by that," said Ms Kemp.
Gathering her father's work into a collection for publication has been on her "to do" list for almost 10 years, but the time gap which elapsed before she began to concentrate full-time on the editing process a year ago provided a distance that she now sees as beneficial.
"It seems that memoirs are in the shops five minutes after people leave office. I think that's far too quick because they must still be dealing with the process they are writing about," she said.
In January 1989, in a portrait of Scotland after 10 years of Thatcherism, Kemp wrote: "A visitor transported to Scotland from 30 years ago would hardly recognise the place.
"But he would undoubtedly notice the enhanced prosperity of the people, though as each jet takes off for the Mediterranean and each new yet more splendid shopping mall opens he could be excused for wondering where all the money was coming from.
"Sometimes, in darker moments, he might conclude that it was all being borne on a bubble of consumer credit that could easily burst."
The political writing brought Ms Kemp a new dimension of understanding of events she was too young to grasp at the time but she was equally keen to include more ephemeral pieces which reflected his individuality.
He had a wide range of interests, from jazz to Europe, which led to the establishment of a Herald office in Brussels and a network of foreign contributors.
The collection charts Kemp's life and provides a timeline to the political events while varying the tone in much the way a newspaper leavens factual news with opinion and features.
The selection in Confusion to Our Enemies (a favourite toast) reflects the enjoyment Ms Kemp found in delving into the work her father left behind.
After amassing "an unwieldy 150,000 words", she sought help in whittling this down to the pieces which remain of most interest today.
Anne Simpson, who brought style and flair to the women's pages of The Herald and became Kemp's partner, edited the section entitled Culture. It touches on a variety of favourite topics from literature to sport and food and gives a flavour of his abiding interest in the world and in people. Anna Burnside oversaw the early chapters, which include some of the writing of Kemp's father Robert, the journalist, playwright and novelist.
Ms Kemp said: "It's been a really wonderful project. I set out to create a reading experience that people would enjoy and capture some of his spirit and let people feel they had spent a few hours in Arnold's company, which was how I felt reading the work."
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