Alasdair Gray: Lanark

(3582 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 …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

O’ Gallagher, Niall. "Lanark". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 13 October 2010
[, accessed 05 July 2015.]