Lanark: A Life in Four Books (Canongate Classics) [Alasdair Gray, Janice Galloway] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. From its first. This month’s feature from the Special Collections Department is the drafts and papers relating to Alasdair Gray’s most famous novel, Lanark: A life in four books. When he wrote his first novel, Lanark: A Life in Four Books, Alasdair Gray had a great many things he wanted to accomplish. He wanted to write.

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It was also unashamedly Scottish. Books by Alasdair Gray. Gray needed the overarching machinery of allegory and fable to make Lanark transcend its origins.

Nonetheless, Lanark overdelivers on its promise: And more importantly, it will hopefully move its readers to be more successful in fighting the military capitalist juggernaut than its titular character.

The city of the Glasgow is the best and only real character beside Gray himself in this book – and in all honesty it is the only reason why I kept reading. A city imagined at length into being itself. There were big chunks of Thaw’s narrative that I found very entertaining, such as his schooling and his time at the Glasgow School of Art. These days, Scottish confidence – a regained parliament of sorts, a more admissible literary, musical and artistic culture – is in notionally better shape, and that partly in direct response to this book.

The woman and child left him, and for no very clear reason he had been sent on a mission to some sort of assembly A number of scripts by Gray are housed in the Scottish Theatre Archive: Digressions and comparisons ensue. Gray has said that he ‘[wants] to be read by an English-speaking tribe which extends to Cape Town in the south, Bengal in the east, California in the west and George Mackay Brown in the north.

I thought it was brilliant, but I can’t tell you why now. Moreover, as is illustrated in the images above, many of the drafts are very similar to their final published versions, often with only very minor changes made from the original manuscript draft through to the published work. A more narcissistic, misogynistic and antisocial character I’ve seldom met, and I found it hard to keep reading about him.


Lanark is an unusual book, employing techniques seldom used by other authors, although parallels have been drawn with literary greats such as Dante and Blake.

But what is relevant is that the guy sitting in front of me alaadair the book he was reading on the seat next to him when the author-guy started talking. Curious and informed, angry and rational, this voice was not afraid of fun or of confessing its vanities or of having Big Ideas.

I was and am a realistic novelist and I felt strongly then that fable, allegory, surrealism, fantasy, magic realism and the rest were not my literary cup of tea.

A closer look found the monster-humps of the Forth Bridge bounding over black, nameless water; what was surely the paddle steamer Waverley chugged a narrower channel further south. Retrieved 27 July I feel kinda crazy I read Alasdair’s part hopelessly biographical, part darkest fantasy Lanark in the spring of The first thing you notice when you open it up and check out the Contents page is that it is structured in a weird way.

Lanark by Alasdair Gray

Ina stage adaptation entitled Lanark: What can I say that doesn’t spoil something? Maybe I invented this semanteme. But their efforts remain a constant, and something, at least something. At the same time, I would recommend that first part unreservedly. View all 9 comments.

Not so much, or grxy least not enough to warrant a 3 star review. An Index of Plagiarisms is printed in the margins of the discussion. I say yes, grray this could be a good example. The drenching sadness of his blighted need to bond more fully with the unknowable other sex is powerful, poignant and, to this woman at least, an undeniable admission that another story is waiting to be told, imagined, confessed.

Yet how he strives. First comes Book 3, then the Introduction, then Books 1 and 2, and finally Book 4.

But I am at home there. Then I give it a high rating easier to explain a high rating than a low one–just sprinkle the review with benign superlatives. In this section of the novel, Thaw’s father gives him money to buy materials for Art school, with Thaw consequently buying the articles only to have them stolen. Can’t remember much about this big, crazy book but I do remember it lnaark big, and crazy, and about Glasgow, and not-Glasgow, which was called Unthank.


He managed to make Lanark all of these things and more and that grqy why it has been read and will continue to be read: Written over a period of almost thirty years, it combines realist and lansrk surrealist depictions of his home city of Glasgow. Dear reader, delay no longer.


There he enters a vast Orwellian compound known as The Institute where everyone’s a doctor, or becomes one. It knew the whole truth didn’t belong to one sex either. Out of his short-circuiting brain came this astonishing wonder. Softly, sadly, he revisited the hills and hollows of a familiar landscape, the sides of his limbs touching sweet abundances with surprisingly hard tips, his endings paddling in the pleats of a wet wound which opened alassair a boggy cave where little moans bloomed like violets in the blackness.

Gray will digress as gloriously as Billy Connolly; his musings peppered with impersonations, impromptu Victorian bawdy poems, denunciations and flights of fancy. Around pages mark: Indeed, the story as shown in the author’s own honed to the bone precis is, on one level, simple enough:.

Narayan and Violet Powell amongst others.

BBC Arts – BBC Arts – Alasdair Gray at The liberation of Lanark

At the foot, sitting on the rim of the picture frame and almost missable, was a tiny man with glasses; someone, in the later words of the book itself, “whose bewildered face looked straight out at the viewers, ggray them feel part of the multitude too”. Alasdair Gray at Prententious, unnecessary, ridiculous, probably there grya show off to us how well read the author is, how serious his project. View all 8 comments.

There were dank odours and even a whiff of dung.

The first thing you notice when you open it up and check out the Contents page is that i I wanted very much to love this book, which was probably my first mistake.