PDF/EPUB Mervyn Peake Û Titus GroanGormenghastTitus Alone Kindle è Titus Û

A doomed lord an emergent hero and a dazzling array of bizarre creatures inhabit the magical world of the Gormenghast novels which along with Tolkien's Lord of the Rings reign as one of the undisputed fantasy classics of all time At the center of it all is the seventy seventh Earl Titus Groan who stands to inherit the miles of rambling stone and mortar that form Gormenghast Castle and its kingdom unless the conniving Steerpike who is determined to rise above his menial position and control the House of Groan has his wayIn these extraordinary novels Peake has created a world where all is like a dream lush fantastical and vivid Accompanying the text are Peake's own drawings illustrating the whole assembly of strange and marvelous creatures that inhabit GormenghastAlso featuringIntroductory essays by Anthony Burgess and uentin CrispTwelve critical essays curated by Peake scholar Peter G WinningtonFragment of the unpublished novel Titus Awakes


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    I know of no author in all of the English language who is like Peake or who could aspire to be like him His voice is as unique as that of Milton Bierce Conrad Blake Donne or Eliot and as fully realized I am a hard and critical man cynical and not easily moved but there are passages in the Gormenghast series which so shocked me by the force of their beauty that I snap the book shut overwhelmed with wonderment and take a moment to catch my breathI would drop my head My eyes would search the air as if I could find there the conclusion I was seeking My brow would crease in something like despondency or desperation and then of its own accord a smile would break across my face and I would shake my head slowly and laugh and sigh And laughPeake's writing is not easy fare I often needed room to breathe and time for contemplation but he is not inaccessible nor arduous He does not like Joyce or Eliot require the reader to know the history of western literature in order to understand him His story is deceptively simple it is the world in which he sets it that can be so overwhelmingPeake writes with a painter's eye which is natural enough as he is famous as an illustrator than a writer the only self portrait in the National Portrait Gallery He paints each scene each moment in such careful loving playful detail that it can only be described by the original definition of 'sublime' a vista which is so grand and beautiful that it dwarfs our humanity evoking a wonder akin to fearBut Peake's writing is not so entirely alienating on the contrary he is vividly concerned with life Gormenghast is the story of a life starting at birth though our hero only got as far as the cusp of manhood before Peake was seized by malady and death Each character is brightly and grotesquely alive The 'fantasy' of this book is not like so many epics magic signifying moral conflict The magic of Peake's world is the absurdly perfect figures that people itThey are stylized and symbolic but like Gogol Peake is working off of his own system of symbology instead of relying on the staid familiar archetypes of literature Unusual as they may be there is a recognizable verisimilitude in the madness imbued in each Their obsessions quirks and unpredictability feel all too human They are frail mad and surprisingLike the wild characters of his sketches Peake writes in exaggerated strokes but somehow that makes them recognizable realistic and memorable than the unadorned reality of post modernists Since truth is stranger than fiction only off kilter unhinged worlds will seem real as Peake's does This focus on fantastical characters instead of fantastical powers has been wryly dubbed 'Mannerpunk' or a 'Fantasy of Manners' It is a much enveloping and convincing type of fantasy since it engages the mind directly with visceral artistic techniques instead of relying on a threadbare language of symbolic power Peake does not want to explain the world but paint itTolkien can certainly be impressive in his way but after reading Peake it is difficult to call him fantastical His archetypal characters age old moral conflict and epic plot all seem so hidebound against the wild bulwark of Peake's imagination The world of Gormenghast is magical and dreamlike without even needing to resort to the parlor tricks of spells wizards and monstersPeake's people are fantastical than dragons because their beings are instilled with a shifting and scintillating transience Most dragons fearsome as they may be on the outside are inwardly little than plot movers Their fearful might is drawn from a recognizable tradition and I question how fantastical something can really be when its form and behavior are so familiar to usLikewise Peake's world though made up of things recognizable is twisted enchanted and made uncanny without ever needing to stretch our disbelief We have all experienced wonder confusion and revelation at the world so why do authors think that making it less real will make it wonderful? What is truly fantastical is to find magic in our own world and in our own livesBut then it is not an easy thing to do Authors write in forms cliches archetypes and moral arguments because it gives them something to work with a place to start and a way to measure their progress lest they lose themselves To write unfettered is vastly difficult and requires either great boldness or great naivetePeake is ever bold You will never catch him flat footed his pen is ever moving He drives on in sallies and skirmishes teasing prodding suggesting and always in the end he is a quantum presence evading our cumbersome attempts to catch him in any one place Each sentence bears a thought a purpose a consciousness The only thing keeping the book moving is the restless joy of Peake's wit his love and passion for his book its places characters and storyHe also has a love for writing and for the word which is clear on every page A dabbler in poetry his careful sense of meter is masterful as precise as Bierce And unlike most fantasists Peake's poetry is often the best part of his books instead of the least palatable Even absent his amusing characterization and palpable world his pure language is a thing to beholdIn the introduction Quentin Crisp tells us about the nature of the iconoclast that being different is not a matter of avoiding and rejecting what others do that is merely contrariness not creativity To be original means finding an inspiration that is your own and following it through to the bitter endPeake does that here maintaining a depth pace and quality that is almost unbelievable He makes the book his own and each time he succeeds in lulling us into familiarity we can be sure that it is a playful ruse and soon he will shake free againAlas not all readers will be able to keep up with him Those desiring repetition comfort and predictability will instead receive shock betrayal and confusion However for those who love words who seek beauty who relish the unexpected and who find the most stirring sensation to be the evocation of wonder I have no finer book to suggest No other fantasist is fantastical or fundamentally humanMy Fantasy Book Suggestions