I’ll invert the order of the topics in this post by letting you know first that we have added a new signed, limited edition print to the Alasdair Gray art works for sale section of this blog, The White Dog (see above).
This striking image was created by Alasdair in 1983 to illustrate his short story The Comedy of the White Dog in Unlikely stories, mostly. The reviewer Theo Tait wrote of this story, in the Guardian:
I was also very struck by “The Comedy of the White Dog”, which starts as a realistic story about sexually uneasy 1950s bohemians, and resolves into a truly strange tale about a monstrous dog claiming droit de seigneur.
I was myself quite struck by Tait’s introduction to Alasdair and his work in the opening paragraph of this review, which you can read in full here. That opener:
The novelist, playwright, poet, muralist, illustrator, pamphleteer and literary historian Alasdair Gray has been called all sorts of things: the 20th century’s William Blake, Glasgow’s Piranesi, “the greatest Scottish novelist since Walter Scott” (by Anthony Burgess), “a creative polymath with an integrated politico-philosophic vision” (by Will Self), a glorious one-man band, the dirty old man of Scottish letters. On the evidence of Every Short Story 1951-2012, we could slap a few more tags on to this bewilderingly varied talent: Glasgow’s Borges, perhaps, or Scotland’s VS Pritchett.
Now for that BIG NEWS (and I never use all caps without an EXCELLENT reason): Alasdair has produced two new limited edition prints! — the first in recent years. I have seen the artist’s proofs, and they’re amazing. The Tower of Babel uses the illustration from his short story The Start of the Axletree; and Ozymandias the illustration from another, The End of the Axletree; so these prints comprise in certain respects a pair. I know many will now be rushing to their bookshelves to consult either Unlikely stories, mostly or Every Short Story 1951-2012 for a look at these illustrations; but looking at those won’t quite do justice to these prints: the lettering, the layout, the meanings they convey… We’ll be publishing scans of these amazing things on this website before too long.
A REMINDER! (those all caps again, and bolded):
This Sunday coming (26 February) McTears Auctioneers in Glasgow will be selling a full set of Lanark Book Covers at their Scottish Contemporary Art Auction — not to be missed. You can view the lots here.