Gormenghast Quotes

Quotes tagged as "gormenghast" Showing 1-12 of 12
Mervyn Peake
“Life is too fleet for onomatopoeia.”
Mervyn Peake, Titus Groan

Mervyn Peake
“Gormenghast, that is, the main massing of the original stone, taken by itself would have displayed a certain ponderous architectural quality were it possible to have ignored the circumfusion of those mean dwellings that swarmed like an epidemic around its outer walls. They sprawled over the sloping arch, each one half way over its neighbour until, held back by the castle ramparts, the innermost of these hovels laid hold on the great walls, clamping themselves thereto like limpets to a rock. These dwellings, by ancient law, were granted this chill intimacy with the stronghold that loomed above them. Over their irregular roofs would fall throughout the seasons, the shadows of time-eaten buttresses, of broken and lofty turrets, and, most enormous of all, the shadow of the Tower of Flints. This tower, patched unevenly with black ivy, arose like a mutilated finger from among the fists of knuckled masonry and pointed blasphemously at heaven. At night the owls made of it an echoing throat; by day it stood voiceless and cast its long shadow.”
Mervyn Peake, Titus Groan

Mervyn Peake
“When he at least reached the door the handle had cease to vibrate. Lowering himself suddenly to his knees he placed his head and the vagaries of his left eye (which was for ever trying to dash up and down the vertical surface of the door), he was able by dint of concentration to observe, within three inches of his keyholed eye, an eye which was not his, being not only of a different colour to his own iron marble, but being, which is more convincing, on the other side of the door.”
Mervyn Peake, Titus Groan

Mervyn Peake
“He had no longer any need for home, for he carried his Gormenghast within him. All that he sought was jostling within himself. He had grown up. What a boy had set out to seek a man had found, found by the act of living.”
Mervyn Peake

Mervyn Peake
Withdrawn and ruinous it broods in umbra: the immemorial masonry: the towers, the tracts. Is all corroding? No. Through an avenue of spires a zephyr floats; a bird whistles; a freshet beats away from a choked river. Deep in a fist of stone a doll's hand wriggles, warm rebellious on the frozen palm. A shadow shifts its length. A spider stirs...
And darkness winds between the characters.
- Gormenghast”
Mervyn Peake

Mervyn Peake
“But Fuchsia might as well have been carved from dark marble. Only her tears moved.”
Mervyn Peake, Titus Groan

Mervyn Peake
“It was a long head.

It was a wedge, a sliver, a grotesque slice in which it seemed the features had been forced to stake their claims, and it appeared that they had done so in a great hurry and with no attempt to form any kind of symmetrical pattern for their mutual advantage. The nose had evidently been first upon the scene and had spread itself down the entire length of the wedge, beginning among the grey stubble of the hair and ending among the grey stubble of the beard, and spreading on both sides with a ruthless disregard for the eyes and mouth which found precarious purchase. The mouth was forced by the lie of the terrain left to it, to slant at an angle which gave to its right-hand side an expression of grim amusement and to its left, which dipped downwards across the chin, a remorseless twist. It was forced by not only the unfriendly monopoly of the nose, but also by the tapering character of the head to be a short mouth; but it obvious by its very nature that, under normal conditions, it would have covered twice the area. The eyes in whose expression might be read the unending grudge they bore against the nose were as small as marbles and peered out between the grey grass of the hair.
This head, set at a long incline upon a neck as wry as a turtle's cut across the narrow vertical black strip of the window.
Steerpike watched it turn upon the neck slowly. It would not have surprised him if it had dropped off, so toylike was its angle.
As he watched, fascinated, the mouth opened and a voice as strange and deep as the echo of a lugubrious ocean stole out into the morning. Never was a face so belied by its voice.
The accent was of so weird a lilt that at first Steerpike could not recognize more than one sentence in three, but he had quickly attuned himself to the original cadence and as the words fell into place Steerpike realised he was staring at a poet.”
Mervyn Peake, Titus Groan

Mervyn Peake
“Hold fast
To the law
Of the last
Cold tome,
Where the earth
Of the truth
Lies thick
On the page,
And the loam
Of faith
In the ink
Long fled
From the drone
Of the nib
Flows on
Through the breath
Of the bone
In a dawn
Of doom
Where blooms
The rose
For the winds
The child
For the tomb
The thrush
For the hush
Of song,
The corn
For the scythe
And the thorn
In wait
For the heart
Till the last
Of the first
And the least
Of the past
Is dust
And the dust
Is lost.
Hold fast!”
Mervyn Peake, Gormenghast

Mervyn Peake
“Il castello era silenzioso come un mostro impalato.”
Mervyn Peake, Gormenghast

Mervyn Peake
“...she stepped outwards into the dim atmosphere, and falling, was most fabulously lit by the moon and the sun.”
Mervyn Peake, Titus Groan

Mervyn Peake
“Forse non siete a conoscenza, ma vostra madre aveva il sangue cattivo. Molto cattivo. Oppure sognate degli ermellini.”
Mervyn Peake, Gormenghast

Mervyn Peake
“The castle was as silent as some pole-axed monster. Inert, breathless, spread-eagled. It was a night that seemed to prove by the consolidation of its darkness and its silence the hopelessness of any further dawn. There was no such thing as dawn. It was an invention of the night's or of the old-wives of the night - a fable, immemorially old - recounted century after century in the eternal darkness; retold and retold to the gnomic children in the tunnels and the caves of Gormenghast - a tale of another world where such things happened, where stones and bricks and ivy stems and iron could be seen as well as touched and smelt, could be lit and coloured, and where at certain times a radiance shone like honey from the east and the blackness was scaled away, and this thing they called dawn arose above the woods as though the fable had materialized, the legend come to life. It was a night with a bull's mouth. But the mouth was bound and gagged. It was a night with enormous eyes, but they were hooded.”
Mervyn Peake, Gormenghast