Alasdair Gray: Lanark

(3439 words)
  • Niall O’ Gallagher (University of Glasgow)

Alasdair Gray’s first novel Lanark is one of the major Scottish novels of the twentieth century and a significant contribution to the traditions of surreal and dystopian fiction. Lanark is many things. It is at once a “portrait of the artist as a young Glaswegian” and an exploration of the social world of capitalism and imperialism in a recognisable industrial city of the 1950s and 1960s. Though arguably less concerned with specifically Scottish politics than with the general social malaise of late capitalism and economic imperialism, it is an inescapably political novel, with a focus on the potential for emancipation from the social and political constraints on individual freedom which has been central to …

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O’ Gallagher, Niall. "Lanark". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 13 October 2010
[, accessed 26 September 2016.]