25 June 2013

Hope

12 comments:

Andrew MacLaren-Scott said...

Light! Not enough room to squeeze out of yet, unless I can find a way to open it up some more, but light enough to embark on my re-reading of what, though many may find it a strange choice, I do believe may be the best set of books I have ever read, or certainly the best imagined world I have been taken to. A feast awaits me. And what an opening... revealing that a long engrossing reveal is about to begin...Here I go:

"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 earth, 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...."

Extracted from Peake, Mervyn (2011-08-12). Titus Groan (Gormenghast trilogy) (Kindle Locations 182-189). Random House. Kindle Edition.

I think I'll be fine now, ensconced here in this deep black hole at the end of the universe, for a while.

CherryPie said...

Those are very hazy lights... Are you sure you will be fine?

I have never read the books of your choice, but I did see the serialisation on the television. I am sure you will tell me that it wasn't a good representation of the books, which often happens when words are put to screen.

Andrew MacLaren-Scott said...

Hah! Don't be so sure. It was largely a very good representation of the books actually, in my opinion, as much as could be expected given the limitations of the format, but you possibly need to have read the books to appreciate the serialisation properly. The books will either grab you or will be discarded after a page or two, like so many books. These ones grabbed me, well... the first two of the trilogy actually - the third book goes off somewhere else completely, and could be completely discarded as far as I am concerned. Books 1 and 2 are masterpieces.

Anonymous said...

Andrew, may that chink of light continue to grow larger. I have every confidence that you will be fine and that your time in the darkness will be short.

Suzie.

Claude -thank you. Peace to you.

Andrew MacLaren-Scott said...

Time is squeezed so differently in a black hole Suzie. I have already been in here for a near eternity although it probably just seems like a day or two to the Outsiders, as we denizens of Blackholedom call you lot. I'm sure I will nip out again for a while soon, until it all becomes so awful again that I will need another retreat to near eternity to recover from what is out there. And if none of that makes any sense, just think about what passes for "sense" among the Outsiders. How you manage without a black hole to retreat to I will never know.

Andrew MacLaren-Scott said...

By the way... Do you know that you can comment as "Suzie" rather than as "Anonymous" just by selecting Name/URL from the pull down menu and just filling in the name of choice with no need to enter a URL? Not that it really matters either way, certainly not to me, but I just wondered if you knew that. I am sure the US NSA know exactly who you are anyway :)

susan said...

I read all three quite a long time ago and enjoyed the first two far more than the last. That was hardly Mervyn Peake's fault, though, as I recall that he died well before finishing it and someone else elaborated the ending from his notes.

We own a copy of the televised adaptation that we happened to watch it again just a few months ago. You're right that it's pretty true to the original. Any compunctions I hold are more like quibbles about staging - the sets were okay but everything seemed so much smaller (and brighter) than the view I hold of Gormenghast in my mind.

Andrew MacLaren-Scott said...

Yes, the tv adaptation did its best but a series of long and darker films are required. Apparently the musician "Sting" has purchased the film rights, and has had them for a while, but he may be such an afficionado as to be reluctant to see the job done poorly. I would love to see it done well, but please not by Hollywood.

Andrew MacLaren-Scott said...

...and yes, the third book is not really part of the masterpiece. I only ploughed on through it out of loyalty.

Interesting story that Peake lost the entire manuscript of Book 1 on a train, when about half completed, in the days long before digital back up, but... he just picked up some blank paper and started all over again.

A lesson there.

Syncopated Eyeball said...

Yay! The Gormenghast books are up there on my list of favourites. So bleak, damp, cold and wonderful!

Syncopated Eyeball said...

Oh, and I like your photo very much, Andrew.

Elephant's Child said...

I love the Gormenghast novels and the week before last I picked up the fourth in the series - started by Mervyn Peake and finished by his wife. I wonder whether I will like it...