Bill Kerwin's Reviews > Gormenghast

Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake
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Jun 29, 12

bookshelves: fantasy, gothic
Read from May 04 to 19, 2012


I like "Titus Groan" very much, but I like "Gormenghast" even more. The visual set pieces are equally vivid, but the style seems less labored, more fluid--less like cubist painting and more like a movie photographed by a cinematographer with a unique and eccentric palette. At first I thought this was principally due to Peake's maturing writing style--and still believe that this has somewhat to do with it--but I have also come to understand that the growing ease in style, the flow of the narrative, has changed because Gormenghast, and Titus too, have changed. This place and this prince, both circumscribed and determined by tradition, now live in an unstable world undermined by crime and flood. The earl has entered into the full freedom of young manhood, conscious of the confines of tradition but no longer bound by its restrictions.

I look forward with delight to the last volume of the series.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Coyle (new)

Coyle Without giving any spoilers, do keep in mind that the last volume is just a draft...


Bill  Kerwin I did know that it was never intended to be a merely trilogy, and I noticed that "Titus Alone" was quite a bit shorter than the other two, but I hadn't heart the "just a draft" part. Thanks for the warning. I won't get my hopes up and will endeavor not to judge it too harshly.


Cecily Re "conscious of the confines of tradition but no longer bound by its restrictions", which in some ways ought to make him an ally of Steerpike?!


(PS: Titus is an Earl, not a Prince or King.)


Bill  Kerwin Your Steerpike comment is very interesting Yes, there are parallels. But Steerpike is a sociopath and Titus isn't

Thanks for catching my "king" slip. Gormenghast is such a world unto itself that I always think of it as a kingdom. I'm going to keep the "prince" reference, though, because my usage fits the old feudal meaning of the word and--besides--I like the alliteration.


Cecily Bill wrote: "Steerpike is a sociopath and Titus isn't."

Absolutely.

Bill wrote: "Gormenghast is such a world unto itself that I always think of it as a kingdom."

Entirely understandable.

Bill wrote: "I'm going to keep the "prince" reference, though, because my usage fits the old feudal meaning of the word and--besides--I like the alliteration."

Good point (I'm fond of alliteration as well).


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