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Additional resources for Alasdair Gray: Ink for Worlds
The weakness is its unstinting sympathy for a billionaire ‘Part of a Part Which was Once the Whole’ 39 businessman always enriching and aggrandising himself while claiming to seek the highest good. [ ... ] He dies at his smuggest. Goethe, using the literary device of Faust’s immortal soul, might at least have put him through a purgatory that taught him the harm he had done. No. 86–87) The justification for Faust’s salvation (‘He who unweariedly kept trying ... 399, 407). Ritchie-Smollett both paraphrases the line and quotes it twice in German (once incorrectly): ‘as long as you’ve a good heart and keep trying there’s no need to despair.
18) In that context, the third actor in Gray’s cast of characters, the writer, the one who, since his initial metaleptic appearance in Lanark’s epilogue ‘reforms’ – and tampers with – our ‘perceptions of the past’, bridges the gap between history and the future, or history and the people, as he is the only one who can, through a shaping of history into story, emphasise the crucial discursive, narrative part of history. Story/history: the performative part of the novel In order to represent this fundamentally discursive nature of history, Gray’s method assumes many disguises.
By Kathleen Blamey and David Pellauer) (Chicago: Chicago University Press). However, this chapter will make use of the French original. 3. 75). 4. 378, 381). The political implications of this freezing of the past and the present into an impossible relationship (‘no admittance’) are also explored in the allegorical story ‘Five Letters from an Eastern Empire’ (Gray, 1983, pp. 85–133), which is built on the structural implications of this absence of relationship: in the story, what is past and cannot come back, literally by having been destroyed, is presented to the poet-narrator whose role it is to uphold a tyranny by extolling its figurehead, the ‘emperor’, as being accessible from the present.