Source and activity 4
Extract from an early draft of 'Lanark'
View larger manuscript image
This page is from an early handwritten draft of book 4, chapter 38 of 'Lanark'.
It demonstrates a common feature of the manuscript, as it includes the author's detailed instructions about the proposed layout of the page.
Here, Alasdair Gray suggests that text representing speech should appear in narrow columns to distinguish it from the main narrative.
The manuscript for 'Lanark' is held by Glasgow University Library.
Each source illustrates a different stage producing a final version of 'Lanark' for publication, and you might like to compare them with the most recent printed edition (Edinburgh: Canongate Books, 2007, pages 448-450).
This source shows a page from the handwritten manuscript. Source 5 and source 6 show an extract from a letter which Alasdair Gray wrote to his publisher. It includes his own instructions relating to design, layout, and typography, and a proof page produced by the printer, with author's edits.
In each case, it's clear that Gray has a specific vision for the way in which the text should be presented in the final, printed version.
Do you think that the page layout and design has any impact on the meaning, or highlights important elements, of the text?
Find out more about Alasdair Gray in NLS collections
The Alasdair Gray Archive is listed under ‘G’ in our Guide to Manuscripts Collections.
Search our catalogue for books by or about Alasdair Gray.