Mervyn Peake

I have just been re-reading bits of Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake. It is not a work noted for comedy, but I came across one sentence which made me laugh out loud:

But both the Doctor and his sister found that the Ladies Cora and Clarice had not been paying the slightest attention but had been staring at Steerpike more in the manner of a wall staring at a man than a man staring at a wall.

Definitely a “I wish I had written that” sort of sentence.

I have searched for a copyright-free picture of Peake, but I came up against what you can see in the picture above. The Wikipedia entry has a photo of him though.

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Photo credit:Jonathan Riley. Used under this licence.

2 thoughts on “Mervyn Peake

  1. I must have missed that when I read the Gormenghast trilogy as a (near) youngster, but it certainly made me smile when I read it here. Thank you for reminding me of those excellent works, John, and good to see you posting regularly in the New Year. All the best to your good lady — I hope she is continuing to progress well. Incidentally, I read my first ever Ruth Rendell (The Face of Trespass) over the last couple of nights when I was unwell — I am most impressed.

  2. Philip,

    I’m glad the Peake quote raised a smile. Have you read his novel Mr Pye? Well worth a try.

    I have read some Ruth Rendell stuff and enjoyed it, but I hadn’t heard of the work you mention.

    I hope you are feeling well again.

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