ALASDAIR GRAY LANARK PDF

The city stretched beneath his arms was a cluster of skyscrapers and factories, pylons and gasworks and clocktowers, its coastline fraught with crested waves, its hills rising through the urban sprawl like naked limbs. 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. And there, no mistake, were Glasgow Cathedral and the Necropolis overlooking Dennistoun. 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, making them feel part of the multitude too".

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Alasdair Gray at home in Glasgow in It arrived, like me, in But Lanark is so entirely surprising that any first encounter with it is an encounter with the new. It is the kind of book that could look like proof of madness if it had never been published, a page epic with elaborate illustrations by Gray and idiosyncratic typesetting, interlacing realist sections set in Glasgow with satirical fantasy set in a parallel city called Unthank, written in four books and starting with book three.

Alasdair Gray obituary Read more I fell in love. It was an unlikely passion. Gray displayed his politics with disarming plainness — he believed in Scottish independence and socialism; I was a milksop unionist and social democrat. Moreover, I was a feminist, and Gray was a sometime pornographer whose female characters barely scrape two dimensions. Something Leather is straight-up lechery. He makes easy company with disagreement.

In Lanark, the eponymous hero becomes a delegate to a council of nations where he is shocked by the cynicism of statecraft. We could be better, and we will continue to be bad so long as we cannot honestly reckon with our own badness.

Embedded in the fantastical version is a frightening kind of truth about how men see women. There is an instant understanding between those who love him. All of it is there to be discovered.

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Glasgow belongs to us

He worked for many years in a factory making boxes, often went hillwalking , and helped found the Scottish Youth Hostels Association. He completed the first book in ; it was rejected by the Curtis Brown literary agency. A severe asthma attack left him hospitalised in Gibraltar , and he had his money stolen. They had a son, Andrew, in , and separated in He produced hundreds of drawings of the city, including portraits of politicians, people in the arts, members of the general public and workplaces with workers. These are now in the collection at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. In , with the support of Edwin Morgan , he received a grant from the Scottish Arts Council to allow him to continue with Lanark.

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Alasdair Gray

Start your review of Lanark Write a review Shelves: british Alien Life-forms Lanark, on the face of it, is a complex fantasy of a sort of Glaswegian student-Bohemia experienced by the eponymous hero alias Thaw. There are intriguing allusions and dense metaphysical comments on almost every page. I dont think it is prudent, or even possible, to summarize its narrative or its meaning. But a key to both might be found in what I think is its philosophical, and therefore essentially literary, context. According to some, the most serious impediment to Alien Life-forms Lanark, on the face of it, is a complex fantasy of a sort of Glaswegian student-Bohemia experienced by the eponymous hero alias Thaw. It is the presence of what can only be called a pervasive evil.

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Plot summary[ edit ] Lanark comprises four books, arranged in the order Three, One, Two, Four there is also a Prologue before Book One, and an Epilogue four chapters before the end of the book. In the Epilogue, the author explains this by saying that "I want Lanark to be read in one order but eventually thought of in another", and that the epilogue itself is "too important" to go at the end. He has no memory of his past and picks his name from a strangely familiar photograph on the wall. He soon arrives in Unthank, a strange Glasgow-like city in which there is no daylight and whose disappearing residents suffer from strange diseases, orifices growing on their limbs and body heat fading away. Lanark begins to associate with a group of twenty-somethings to whom he cannot fully relate and whose mores he cannot understand, and soon begins to suffer from dragonhide, a disease which turns his skin into scales as an external manifestation of his emotional repression. Lanark is eventually swallowed by a mouth in the earth, and awakes in the Institute, a sort of hospital which cures patients of their diseases but uses the hopeless cases for power and food. Upon learning this, Lanark is horrified and determines to leave.

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Frightening and downright filthy: why everyone must read Alasdair Gray

Alasdair Gray at home in Glasgow in It arrived, like me, in But Lanark is so entirely surprising that any first encounter with it is an encounter with the new. It is the kind of book that could look like proof of madness if it had never been published, a page epic with elaborate illustrations by Gray and idiosyncratic typesetting, interlacing realist sections set in Glasgow with satirical fantasy set in a parallel city called Unthank, written in four books and starting with book three. Alasdair Gray obituary Read more I fell in love. It was an unlikely passion. Gray displayed his politics with disarming plainness — he believed in Scottish independence and socialism; I was a milksop unionist and social democrat.

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