Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses

Generic multiplicity in Alasdair Gray's Lanark: a life in 4 books

Luis de Juan Hatchard



This paper begins by acknowledging the ontological multiplicity which characterises the fictional world(s) of Lanark: A Life in 4 Books, and suggests the need to complement this reading by looking into its generic multiplicity. In doing so, my analysis initially focuses on the opposition between the realistic and fantastic narratives, and the revitalising effect that such a relationship brings about; then it looks into how the novel blurs the frontiers between dystopian and utopian writing as well as between fantasy and science fiction, and contends that such a melange is an effective way of providing a panoramic view of contemporary Western society; finally, my analysis pays special attention to the Epilogue, which adds a metafictional dimension to the novel, and comments on the different interpretations that may be given to this display of narrative experimentation.


Gray, Alasdair; Lanark: a life in 4 books; Literatura escocesa; Narrativa fantástica; Novela realista; Ciencia-ficción; Posmodernismo; Experimentación formal


Copyright (c) 2002 Luis de Juan Hatchard

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