Reconstructing the non-existent: levels of self-reference in Lanark


  • Mario Díaz Martínez



Gray, Alasdair, Lanark, Literatura escocesa, Novela, Autorreferencia, Posmodernismo


This paper begins by stressing the importance and the role played by Alasdair Gray's novel Lanark within the framework of contemporary Scottish literature. After discussing the self-referent aspect of the Epilogue section, the essay goes on to analyze the different functions played respectively by the reader, the main character and the author/God, which clearly present the book as a constructed textual world. Other features of Gray's fiction, as the use of textual games and his ironical concern with critical matters, serve to reinforce the idea of a new form of open ending, by indicating in the "Index of plagiarisms" indirect references to chapters which does not exist. So, the paper enters into a reconstruction process of these missing chapters, which results in a wide interpretation of several multiple perspective endings. The attack on authority which derives from the contents of this caleidoscopical novel is paradoxically balanced by the strong structural control of the book, which allows us to see Gray's work as a kind of postmodern paradigm.


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How to Cite

Díaz Martínez, Mario. 1995. “Reconstructing the Non-Existent: Levels of Self-Reference in Lanark”. Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina De Estudios Ingleses, no. 8 (November):101-6.