Alasdair Gray – writer and artist extraordinaire – embodying and celebrating both the city of Glasgow and the very soul of originality – has died, suddenly, just one day after celebrating his 85th birthday.
I had been delighted to find earlier this year a copy of his A Life in Pictures in which he weaves his autobiographical text together with his sketches, portraits, landscapes and book designs. He was indeed sometimes compared to William Blake – since so few manage to combine both visual and verbal genius.
That soon had me thinking about the different types of intelligence we have – I hadn’t realized that Howard Gardiner had suggested we actually have nine! Perhaps that’ why I woke today with a dream about how conferences reward only those who like to perform - and leave the shy and taciturn frustrated
Alasdair Gray’s approach to books and their design showed his creativity at full stretch. He designed every stage of the process, it seems, except for actually printing the book itself
Paris Review is a prestigious journal devoted to writing and, rightly, had separate features on him – first as a writer and then as a visual artist
Prospect magazine paid a lovely final tribute to him this week – having interviewed him earlier this year
A Gray Resource
A life in Pictures – a superb illustrated autobiography which contains hundreds of portraits of his friends as well as landscapes and book designs
http://etheses.dur.ac.uk/6450/1/6450_3750.PDF a thesis on the literature of Alasdair Gray
Lanark – a life in four books; A Gray (1981) His most famous novel – set alternately in contemporary Glasgow then in a dystopian one