History Literature / Gormenghast

14th Nov '17 7:21:39 AM JulianLapostat
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''Gormenghast'' is the name of a series of stories by Mervyn Peake. They are fantasy novels which take place in a ConstructedWorld but is notable for eschewing the supernatural and the menagerie of beings associated with Creator/LewisCarroll and Creator/JRRTolkien. The novels are set on a series of [[DysfunctionJunction grotesque and idiosyncratic characters]] who live inside a [[CityInABottle huge castle with surrounding huts]] which appears to be cut off from the rest of the world.

to:

''Gormenghast'' is the name of a series of stories by Mervyn Peake. They are fantasy novels which take place in a ConstructedWorld but is notable for eschewing the supernatural and the menagerie of beings associated with Creator/LewisCarroll and Creator/JRRTolkien. The novels are set on revolve around a series of [[DysfunctionJunction grotesque and idiosyncratic characters]] who live inside a [[CityInABottle huge castle with surrounding huts]] which appears to be cut off from the rest of the world.
24th Oct '17 10:41:17 AM MaulMachine
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''Gormenghast'' is the name of a series of stories by Mervyn Peake. They are fantasy novels which take place in a ConstructedWorld but is notably for eschewing the supernatural and the menagerie of beings associated with Creator/LewisCarroll and Creator/JRRTolkien. The novels are set on a series of [[DysfunctionJunction grotesque and idiosyncratic characters]] who live inside a [[CityInABottle huge castle with surrounding huts]] which appears to be cut off from the rest of the world.

to:

''Gormenghast'' is the name of a series of stories by Mervyn Peake. They are fantasy novels which take place in a ConstructedWorld but is notably notable for eschewing the supernatural and the menagerie of beings associated with Creator/LewisCarroll and Creator/JRRTolkien. The novels are set on a series of [[DysfunctionJunction grotesque and idiosyncratic characters]] who live inside a [[CityInABottle huge castle with surrounding huts]] which appears to be cut off from the rest of the world.
23rd Sep '17 11:12:41 AM JulianLapostat
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Stories published in the series, in chronological order:

to:

Stories published Series entries in the series, in chronological order:publication order:
23rd Sep '17 8:57:54 AM JulianLapostat
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## ''Titus Groan'' (1946) -- The first novel introduces the Gormenghast castle, environs, and the plots concern the changes brought in the staid world of the court of the Earl of Groan with the birth of Titus Groan, and the arrival of Steerpike. Steerpike starts as an underling to Chef Abiatha Swelter but after getting lost in the castle, embarks on a picaresque adventures that raise his profile.
## ''Gormenghast'' (1950) -- The second novel more or less continues where ''Titus Groan'' leaves off, showing the Earl as a Young Man bored with the life of the castle, his school lessons and fascinated with an androgynous creature who lives in the wild. Steerpike likewise, continues his ascent and lust for power in parallel to Titus.
## ''Boy in Darkness'' (1956) -- A novella that is generally considered to [[{{Interquel}} takes place sometime before the second book]], set in the same world but is more or less a standalone with no references to the events and characters of the series. It concerns a boy (Young Titus presumably) wandering of the grounds where he encounters malevolent men, and then tries to escape their clutches.
## ''Titus Alone'' (1959) -- The third novel radically departs from the setting and situations of the previous books, and features Titus visiting a modern city with automobiles, factories, and other amenities. An entirely new set of characters, chiefly Muzzlehatch, Cheetah and Juno, as well as the denizens of the Under River form the focus of the bulk of what is the shortest of three published books.

to:

## # ''Titus Groan'' (1946) -- The first novel introduces the Gormenghast castle, environs, and the plots concern the changes brought in the staid world of the court of the Earl of Groan with the birth of Titus Groan, and the arrival of Steerpike. Steerpike starts as an underling to Chef Abiatha Swelter but after getting lost in the castle, embarks on a picaresque adventures that raise his profile.
## # ''Gormenghast'' (1950) -- The second novel more or less continues where ''Titus Groan'' leaves off, showing the Earl as a Young Man bored with the life of the castle, his school lessons and fascinated with an androgynous creature who lives in the wild. Steerpike likewise, continues his ascent and lust for power in parallel to Titus.
## # ''Boy in Darkness'' (1956) -- A novella that is generally considered to [[{{Interquel}} takes take place sometime before the second book]], set in the same world but is more or less a standalone with no references to the events and characters of the series. It concerns a boy (Young Titus presumably) wandering of the grounds where he encounters malevolent men, and then tries to escape their clutches.
## # ''Titus Alone'' (1959) -- The third novel radically departs from the setting and situations of the previous books, and features Titus visiting a modern city with automobiles, factories, and other amenities. An entirely new set of characters, chiefly Muzzlehatch, Cheetah and Juno, as well as the denizens of the Under River form the focus of the bulk of what is the shortest of three published books.


Added DiffLines:

* ArtifactTitle: Peake never quite conceived the series in terms of a trilogy or franchise, but it's generally called the Gormenghast series, and Gormenghast is the setting of the first two books alone, while the third one doesn't take place in Gormenghast at all.
23rd Sep '17 1:13:57 AM JulianLapostat
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A series by Mervyn Peake made of the novels ''Titus Groan'', ''Gormenghast'', and ''Titus Alone'' and the lesser-known novella "Boy In Darkness", which [[{{Interquel}} takes place sometime before the second book]]. They are fantasy and take place in an [[TheVerse imaginary world]] but do not have any elves, dragons, magic, or PatchworkMap. They focus on [[DysfunctionJunction a group of weird and horrible people]] who live inside a [[CityInABottle huge castle with an apparently self-sustaining structure and no contact with the outside world other than a few villages, some lakes, and a mountain]].

Titus Groan, the 77th Earl of Groan, is the ruler of Gormenghast, the eponymous castle. He dreads the long life before him, a life of ruling a single building, never leaving the moth-eaten, rusted-shut, claustrophobic, crumbling halls of pointless, decaying ritual. The castle/city's other inhabitants include the MagnificentBastard NietzscheWannabe {{Antihero}} (or AntiVillain) terrorist Steerpike, Titus's sister [[BrokenBird Fuchsia]], the good Dr Prunesquallor, [[EvilChef chef Abiatha Swelter]], Titus's gloomy father [[MeaningfulName Sepulchrave]], and Titus's mother Gertrude, the original CrazyCatLady.

The novels are ''very'' gloomy, disguising their actually fairly left-handed place on the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism. They have been described variously as [[ThisIsYourPremiseOnDrugs Shakespeare on acid]], an Edward Gorey drawing that goes on for a thousand pages, Kafka mainlining Yorkshire pudding and opium, and a DarkerAndEdgier Dickens. They are also cluttered and sprawling in a way that few major authors have managed to get away with before or since. The physical clutter of Gormenghast's sprawling castle and spiritual clutter of pointless custom and ritual are all lovingly described, sometimes at great length. In addition, there are [[BigLippedAlligatorMoment whole passages where Peake departs from the plot(s)]] to stage dialogues and visit places and characters that are not even vaguely tied to the story and are never referred to again. Think ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' needed some ruthless editing? ''Gormenghast'' will have you reaching for the shears.

The series should have been the first three in a series which should have followed the protagonist's entire life; sadly Peake's rapidly-evolving Parkinson disease prevented this goal from being realized; the fourth novel would have been entitled ''Titus Awakes'', the first few pages of which Peake wrote while he was still physically capable of doing so, along with a list of events which would have taken place in the following volumes. The fragment was turned into a book by Peake's daughter and published in June 2011, but it only contains a few pages of Peake's actual writing.

Creator/MichaelMoorcock is a great admirer of ''Gormenghast'', which he judges a masterpiece of fantasy and has praised vocally in several instances.

In 2000, the BBC adapted the work for the small screen as a project explicitly for the new millennium, focusing on the first two books involving Steerpike. Peake purists criticized it for being LighterAndSofter than the books.

Brian Sibley adapted the books for BBC [[{{Radio}} radio]] ''twice'' - the first time also adapting the first two books as separate plays, the second as a series, ''The History of Titus Groan'', adapting the entire trilogy.

to:

A
''Gormenghast'' is the name of a
series of stories by Mervyn Peake made of the novels ''Titus Groan'', ''Gormenghast'', and ''Titus Alone'' and the lesser-known novella "Boy In Darkness", which [[{{Interquel}} takes place sometime before the second book]]. Peake. They are fantasy and novels which take place in an [[TheVerse imaginary world]] a ConstructedWorld but do not have any elves, dragons, magic, or PatchworkMap. They focus is notably for eschewing the supernatural and the menagerie of beings associated with Creator/LewisCarroll and Creator/JRRTolkien. The novels are set on a series of [[DysfunctionJunction a group of weird grotesque and horrible people]] idiosyncratic characters]] who live inside a [[CityInABottle huge castle with an apparently self-sustaining structure and no contact with surrounding huts]] which appears to be cut off from the outside world other than a few villages, some lakes, and a mountain]].

rest of the world.

The three books concern
Titus Groan, the 77th Earl of Groan, is the ruler of Gormenghast, the eponymous castle.Groan. He dreads the long life before him, a life of ruling a single building, never leaving the moth-eaten, rusted-shut, claustrophobic, crumbling halls of pointless, decaying ritual. The castle/city's other inhabitants include the MagnificentBastard NietzscheWannabe {{Antihero}} (or AntiVillain) terrorist Steerpike, Titus's sister [[BrokenBird Fuchsia]], the good Dr Prunesquallor, [[EvilChef chef Abiatha Swelter]], Titus's gloomy father [[MeaningfulName Sepulchrave]], and Titus's mother Gertrude, the original CrazyCatLady.

Stories published in the series, in chronological order:
## ''Titus Groan'' (1946) --
The novels are ''very'' gloomy, disguising their actually fairly left-handed place on first novel introduces the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism. They have been described variously Gormenghast castle, environs, and the plots concern the changes brought in the staid world of the court of the Earl of Groan with the birth of Titus Groan, and the arrival of Steerpike. Steerpike starts as [[ThisIsYourPremiseOnDrugs Shakespeare an underling to Chef Abiatha Swelter but after getting lost in the castle, embarks on acid]], an Edward Gorey drawing a picaresque adventures that goes on for a thousand pages, Kafka mainlining Yorkshire pudding and opium, and a DarkerAndEdgier Dickens. They are also cluttered and sprawling in a way that few major authors have managed to get away with before or since. The physical clutter of Gormenghast's sprawling castle and spiritual clutter of pointless custom and ritual are all lovingly described, sometimes at great length. In addition, there are [[BigLippedAlligatorMoment whole passages where Peake departs from the plot(s)]] to stage dialogues and visit places and characters that are not even vaguely tied to the story and are never referred to again. Think ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' needed some ruthless editing? raise his profile.
##
''Gormenghast'' will have you reaching (1950) -- The second novel more or less continues where ''Titus Groan'' leaves off, showing the Earl as a Young Man bored with the life of the castle, his school lessons and fascinated with an androgynous creature who lives in the wild. Steerpike likewise, continues his ascent and lust for power in parallel to Titus.
## ''Boy in Darkness'' (1956) -- A novella that is generally considered to [[{{Interquel}} takes place sometime before
the shears.

second book]], set in the same world but is more or less a standalone with no references to the events and characters of the series. It concerns a boy (Young Titus presumably) wandering of the grounds where he encounters malevolent men, and then tries to escape their clutches.
## ''Titus Alone'' (1959) --
The third novel radically departs from the setting and situations of the previous books, and features Titus visiting a modern city with automobiles, factories, and other amenities. An entirely new set of characters, chiefly Muzzlehatch, Cheetah and Juno, as well as the denizens of the Under River form the focus of the bulk of what is the shortest of three published books.

It is important to note that Mervyn Peake intended the
series should have been to be a sequence of books, and ''not'' a trilogy. It is often called the "Gormenghast Trilogy" but this is a publisher's and critic's convention and not intended by the author. Only the first three in two novels constitute a single two-part story, and Peake intended the later series which should have followed to be standalone. He also intended Titus Groan to be the protagonist's entire life; sadly central hook of the series and not Castle Gormenghast as it has come to be understood by critics. Sadly Peake's rapidly-evolving Parkinson disease prevented this goal from being realized; the fourth novel would have been entitled ''Titus Awakes'', the first few pages of which Peake wrote while he was still physically capable of doing so, along with a list of events which would have taken place in the following volumes. The fragment was turned into a book by Peake's daughter and published in June 2011, but it only contains a few pages of Peake's actual writing.

Creator/MichaelMoorcock is a great admirer of ''Gormenghast'', which he judges a masterpiece of fantasy and has praised vocally in several instances.

In 2000, the BBC adapted the work for the small screen as a project explicitly for the new millennium, focusing on the first two books involving Steerpike. Peake purists criticized it for being LighterAndSofter than the books.

Brian Sibley adapted the books for BBC [[{{Radio}} radio]] ''twice'' - the first time also adapting the first two books as separate plays, the second as a series, ''The History of Titus Groan'', adapting the entire trilogy.
12th Jun '17 4:57:41 AM SorPepita
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** His vocal disgust with Steerpike's naked chest (demonstrated on ''two'' separate occasions!) is a little ''too much'' protest. Also, in TheSeries , he is played by StraightGay actor John Sessions...

to:

** His vocal disgust with Steerpike's naked chest (demonstrated on ''two'' separate occasions!) is a little ''too much'' protest. Also, in TheSeries , TheSeries, he is played by StraightGay actor John Sessions...
6th Mar '17 2:00:30 PM Wyldchyld
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* ShirtlessScene: Steerpike, [[WalkingShirtlessScene constantly]]. [[FetishFuel He's soaking wet every time,]] and despite the fact that he's canonically stated to be unattractive, [[EatingTheEyeCandy copious amounts of eye candy still get eaten by any female character present.]] [[RunningGag Any female character...]] [[AmbiguouslyGay and Prunesquallor.]]

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* ShirtlessScene: Steerpike, [[WalkingShirtlessScene constantly]]. [[FetishFuel He's soaking wet every time,]] time, and despite the fact that he's canonically stated to be unattractive, [[EatingTheEyeCandy copious amounts of eye candy still get eaten by any female character present.]] [[RunningGag Any female character...]] [[AmbiguouslyGay and Prunesquallor.]]
18th Dec '16 6:54:45 PM Discar
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* AManIsNotAVirgin: Averted with Prunesquallor, who is a fifty-something virgin and probably the single most badass character in the novels (a BadassBookworm, no less!). ManlyTears are shed in many scenes involving him.
19th Nov '16 10:53:54 PM NOYB
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* DisproportionateRetribution: When Cheeta discovers that Titus' interest in her is purely sexual, she responds by trying to drive him insane.

to:

* DisproportionateRetribution: When Cheeta discovers that Titus' Titus's interest in her is purely sexual, she responds by trying to drive him insane.



* FeralChild: "The Thing" [[spoiler:the child of Keda, Titus' wet-nurse and foster sister, is abandoned in the wild on account of her illegitimacy. Titus is fascinated with her because she represents the freedom and adventure and being closer to nature. It's averted when they finally meet since the girl cannot speak, cannot understand human speech and behaves like an animal and ultimately gets struck by lightning]].

to:

* FeralChild: "The Thing" [[spoiler:the child of Keda, Titus' Titus's wet-nurse and foster sister, is abandoned in the wild on account of her illegitimacy. Titus is fascinated with her because she represents the freedom and adventure and being closer to nature. It's averted when they finally meet since the girl cannot speak, cannot understand human speech and behaves like an animal and ultimately gets struck by lightning]].



* PurpleEyes: Titus' unusually coloured eyes are remarked upon even on the day of his birth.

to:

* PurpleEyes: Titus' Titus's unusually coloured eyes are remarked upon even on the day of his birth.
19th Nov '16 10:52:31 PM NOYB
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Creator/MichaelMoorcock is a great admirer of Gormenghast, which he judges a masterpiece of fantasy and has praised vocally in several instances.

to:

Creator/MichaelMoorcock is a great admirer of Gormenghast, ''Gormenghast'', which he judges a masterpiece of fantasy and has praised vocally in several instances.
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