The Great Gormenghast Read discussion

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Titus Alone > The party (Chapters 20-33)

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message 1: by Metaphorosis (new)

Metaphorosis (metaphorosisreviews) | 47 comments The party (an abrupt and very rough plot transition) finds Peake back in his Gormenghast voice, though exaggerated. Characters are named for attributes, and clearly Peake is having fun with them, though most of the references are again opaque. They can be taken at a broad, generic level, but I felt them to be highly targeted to types or persons Peake had in mind and we cannot know.

We meet the Helmeteers in person here for the first time, and get a shallow and unsatisfying view into their motivations. (view spoiler) Against all likelihood, Muzzlehatch is here again – it’s an extremely improbable setting for a fiercely independent man who disdains all society. All in all, I found the party scene mildly amusing, but overdone.

I found Peake’s unabashed references to sex and sexuality striking, given that reproduction in Gormenghast Castle apparently happened by diffusion and division. The greatest signs of lust there were for power or status, not physical lust. At the party, however, sex is pervasive, though it often seems to be part of the furniture, rather than a motivator.

All in all, I found the party to be more of a defined set piece dropped into Titus’ story than an important part of the plot. It does set up Juno as a key character, but otherwise it’s an awkward fit.


message 2: by Cecily, Gormenghast Librarian (new)

Cecily | 166 comments The occasional sex references are strikingly out of tone with everything else - and poorly written. One dreadful analogy I always remember is "his cock trembled like a harp string".


message 3: by midnightfaerie (new)

midnightfaerie | 70 comments That one actually made me laugh out loud when I read it. Funny that we both noticed it.


message 4: by Ian (new)

Ian "Marvin" Graye | 27 comments Cecily wrote: "The occasional sex references are strikingly out of tone with everything else - and poorly written. One dreadful analogy I always remember is "his cock trembled like a harp string"."

It must tremble while the mind boggles.


message 5: by Metaphorosis (new)

Metaphorosis (metaphorosisreviews) | 47 comments "It was music to her ears"? (from the galleys...)


message 6: by Sumant (new)

Sumant | 16 comments Really finding it hard to get any meaningful from this scene.


message 7: by Cecily, Gormenghast Librarian (new)

Cecily | 166 comments Look for fun over meaning.


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