Archive for Big Readers A place for discussing books and all things bookish.
 

The free forums are now under new ownership, a full announcement will be made shortly

       Big Readers Forum Index -> Author, author! A forum for threads about individual authors.
KlaraZ

Mervyn Peake

Are there are Mervyn Peake fans here? It's the centenary of his birth and there a number of Peake-related events this year. I've loved his work since I was in my early twenties, and I'm hoping to see the British Library exhibition and the talk in November at King's Place. Meanwhile, I've dug out my copy of 'Peake's Progress' and I'm going to dip into that.

The Gomenghast trilogy (which I've read several times in the past) is being dramatised in Radio 4---I've yet to catch up with it, having loved the earlier 1984 version.
Evie

I have yet to read Gormenghast, I am ashamed to say - but really, really must.  I absolutely loved the TV version with Jonathan Rhys Meyers.

I saw a discussion recently of the new instalment that has been written by his widow, building on a fragment that Peake left behind.  John Carey deemed it 'not to be read', as it was so awful.
goldbug

he was a very talented illustrator  too
Evie

Definitely!
KlaraZ

I can understand why Maeve Gilmore must have been inspired to write a follow-up to the Titus Groan trilogy, in which 'Titus' (really Peake) is helped to recover, given the tragic final years of Peake's life---no-one seems to be quite sure what illness it was that afflicted him--at the time it was diagnosed as Parkinson's disease and premature senility, accerbated by ill-judged brain surgery. Other biographers have suggested he may have contracted a virus similar to sleeping sickness in China when he was a boy, one that lay dormant until he was in his fifties. Maeve's short memoir of her life with Mervyn Peake 'A World Away' is well worth reading, and I've just ordered the recently published memoir by his daughter CLare from the library.

'Titus Groan' and 'Gornenghast' are fabulous books, tinged with Gothic, Dickensian madness---Titus Alone is disturbing in a very different way, with its references to Belsen, which Peake visited as a war artist--a shock from which he never recovered. Oddly enough, having read the books first, I didn't feel the TV version quite captured *my* Gormenghast, which I'd visualised in shades of grey and sepia--it all looked too bright and colourful, although the characters were great and I loved the image of Steerpike sitting on the clock face. I also saw a wonderful stage version in 1992, by the David Glass mime ensemble.
goldbug

An author who kindof goes under the radar but, when you look into his life and works, are  very fascinating....
Bruce Chatwin is  another........
Green Jay

I love Peake's illustrations, too. Many years ago I saw a brilliant production of Ghormenghast at the now defunct theatre in the grounds of Susssex University, where the actors seemed to be cast for their likeness to the Peake drawings, especially lady Fushsia,  though they were an excellent cast on acting terms, too. It was done with an ingenious set made of only a few props but very atmospheric and remains one of the best things I've seen in the theatre.

       Big Readers Forum Index -> Author, author! A forum for threads about individual authors.
Page 1 of 1
Create your own free forum | Buy a domain to use with your forum