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 don t 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 contextAccording to some the most serious impediment to explaining the world isn t the absence of a unified physical theory or the inadeuacy of human language It is the presence of what can only be called a pervasive evil Evil is an irrationality an inherent contradiction which clearly If you e into stuff like this you can The Life of Samuel Johnson read the fulleviewInflated Footnotes Lanark A Life in Four Books by Alasdair GrayOriginal Review 1981 03 10I don t have problem with intertextual interpretation as such It s only that I ve always seen Statistical Inference reading as a collaborative process between an author and aeader If you look at it that way it makes you wonder which parts of deep A Wizard in Love reading Lanark comes from the mind of Alasdair Gray and which comes from the attic of your own subconscious I also wonder if it matters which mind it comes from at least wheneading fiction I wanted very much to love this book which was probably my first mistake I had heard a lot of extremely complimentary things about how it was the most unusual eccentric and meaningful novel various people had ead for ages and I pro. This work originally published in 1981 has been hailed as the most influential Scottish novel of.
Bably came to it with ather exaggerated hopes Anyway it s good but it s also flawed as to be fair the author himself admits in a Tigers in Normandy rather interesting confessional Epilogue 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 First comes Book 3 then the Introduction then Books 1 and 2 and finally Book 4 The Epilogue I mentioned comes a few chapters before the end of the book because it s far too important to leave to the end paraphrasing from memory So straight away you know youe dealing with a writer who s kind of pretentious and the only uestion Presidential Secrecy and the Law really is if it s justified by artistic effect or if it s just a gimmick On balance it just abo This novel is a mix of dystopia with fantasy elements and bildungsroman We start in the future where we come across a dysfunctional group of pseudo cognoscenti hanging out in a local cinema cum coffee shop called The Elite In this section of the book Lanark our hero lives aather purposeless life in Unthank parallel universe Glasgow cavorts with these layabouts there before being sucked underground by a giant pair of lips There he enters a vast Orwellian compound known as The Institute where everyone s a doctor or becomes one He saves a woman Rima one of the layabouts from turning salamander He discovers that Soylent Green is people and for that eason decides to leave the subterreanean Institute and eturn to the hell of life on the surface of the earth But before doing so he is tol. The second half of the 20th century Its playful narrative techniues convey a profound message
D the story of his former life as one Duncan Thaw by a portable oracle Thaw lived in the Hume on Religion real Glasgow which I was pleased to see meticulously described for the first time in any fiction that I have everead Over than 300 pages Thaw grows from child to neurotic art student He has terrible asthma He masturbates avidly He can t get a girl His mother dies horribly His Master Plots: Race and the Founding of an American Literature, 1787-1845 relationship with his father is deeply moving Theelationships throughout these two central books are so genuine so vivid This human warmth is an element lacking from the framing dystopia because that setting and all its whacky goings on distract from the humanity as it s meant to do But the dystopic sections are valuable for other City Schools: Lessons from New York reasons for their depiction of vast illogical space of an incomprehensible and deeply criminal military industrial complex that will stop at nothing toealize a profit Multiple The Widow's Lawman rereadings are merited That s high praise A masterpiece There I ve said it I do not know what I justead In the best possible wayWhat can I say that doesn t spoil something It s illustrated by the author And The Story Within rather well I might add Gray plays with structure And linearity And your fucking head Just when you think you know what s going on you don tTonight I went to the library to see some local new author guy talk about his book which is completely irrelevant to thiseview But what is elevant is that the guy sitting in front of me put the book he was eading on the seat next to him when the author guy started talking And. Ersonal and political about humankind's inability to love and yet our compulsion to go on trying.
Alasdair Gray trained as a painter at the local Glasgow school of art He was 47 when he published his first novel Lanark 1981 which combines all sorts of genres from sf to autobiography and literary criticism into a fantastic account of the city of Unthank a thinly disguised GlasgowGray shows an interest in sex which borders on the unhealthy as indicated by the title of his 1990 novel S