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2523Re: Peake and Steerpike

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  • vaar aragon
    Oct 4, 2000
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      I only read 3/4 of the first book (I like Gothic, but I happened to
      believe there's more to Gothic than just the gargoyles. Gormenghast
      is just about the gargoyles ;) so I'm not a good judge. But my
      feelings were about the same as yours, I admired Steerpike, sort of
      liked Titus & some of the other characters (including that trusty-
      servant-whose-name-I-can't-remember-but-I-think-is-played-by-
      Crhistopher-Lee-in-the-miniseries ;), but really couldn't imagine
      imagine any of them as plausible heroes except Steerpike.

      The trouble is (& this may be the point Peake is trying to make) is
      that there wasn't any compelling reason to perceive Steerpike as a
      proper villain. Just an underdog doing mildly distasteful political
      things to get to the top of a mildly distasteful pecking order...

      --- In mythsoc@egroups.com, Melinda Jane Harrison <jharrison3@m...>
      wrote:
      > Hello All!
      >
      > I just finished the books. And well, I shall probably think about
      these
      > novels for a long time. I am going to say something and I feel
      certain
      > that no one will probably agree with me, but Steerpike is the true
      hero of
      > these stories, in my most humble opinion. Flaws, murder, his own
      death and
      > all. Titus is really impotent, as is all of Gormenghast and its
      inhabitants.
      >
      > I often wonder now, after reading it, if Peake, after his
      experiences with
      > War and his thoughts on his times, if subconsciously he was writing
      about a
      > hero who was going to throw over the old order of the world---
      Gormenghast
      > being our world of capitalism, war, etc. and that Steerpike used
      those very
      > tools, in a modest <g> sort of personal way to throw out the order
      of
      > Gormenghast. Even the new earl leaves at the end, but to what end
      I don't
      > know or can imagine, since "there is nothing new out there." <G>
      >
      > But then again.......
      >
      > I may be totally wrong. But that's how I see it now. Steerpike
      reminded
      > me of Hamlet in some ways. Not Titus. I actually got where I liked
      > Steerpike and understood him. Of course that's a dangerous thought
      in some
      > respects. No matter how I tried, I could not see Titus as the
      heroic figure.
      > He was a baby, then a child, then not much more than that. He was
      always a
      > child and acted upon.
      > And when he did act, say when it was about his love for The Thing,
      etc. it
      > reminded me of an impotent boy. And quite honestly, I don't know
      if he
      > would have ever ACTED and left if it had not been for Steerpike's
      actions.
      >
      > So who is the real hero? And who won?
      >
      > Of course, Peake was planning more novels, but I think readers
      would have
      > been disappointed in many ways. Gormenghast was the center. The
      third,
      > well, I discount it. Peake was ill and hardly able to write. What
      he
      > began centered around Gormenghast and around Steerpike. I don't
      > know...it's disturbing in some ways. And I am disturbed by it.
      <G>
      >
      > Jane
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