Date of Submission



Alasdair Gray’s novels highlight the construction of the author to frame a discussion around authority and the political implications of destabilising and reconstructing power structures. In this thesis I engage with both the postmodern and political nature of Gray’s work, using a metafictional approach that accommodates these two often conflicting aspects of Gray’s novels. This metafictional discussion will centre on the author and how Gray, in his novels, exposes and manipulates the authority held by the author figure to form a political dialogue. Gray uses polyphony to present a range of authorial figures that act to destabilise traditional textual authority held by the author. I discuss the role of the novel form in developing ideas of the nation, presenting Gray’s destabilisation of the author as a political statement. This discussion of the author, ‘Alasdair Gray’, allows for a broader discussion of the self, reflecting Gray’s political position as one not limited to Scotland but encouraging of all nations to consider postcolonial futures.


School of Arts

Document Type


Access Rights

Open Access


151 pages

Degree Name

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)


Faculty of Education and Arts