2523Re: Peake and Steerpike
- Oct 4, 2000I 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-
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, Melinda Jane Harrison <jharrison3@m...>
> Hello All!these
> I just finished the books. And well, I shall probably think about
> novels for a long time. I am going to say something and I feelcertain
> that no one will probably agree with me, but Steerpike is the truehero of
> these stories, in my most humble opinion. Flaws, murder, his owndeath and
> all. Titus is really impotent, as is all of Gormenghast and itsinhabitants.
> I often wonder now, after reading it, if Peake, after his
> War and his thoughts on his times, if subconsciously he was writingabout 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 usedthose very
> tools, in a modest <g> sort of personal way to throw out the orderof
> Gormenghast. Even the new earl leaves at the end, but to what endI don't
> know or can imagine, since "there is nothing new out there." <G>reminded
> But then again.......
> I may be totally wrong. But that's how I see it now. Steerpike
> me of Hamlet in some ways. Not Titus. I actually got where I likedin some
> Steerpike and understood him. Of course that's a dangerous thought
> respects. No matter how I tried, I could not see Titus as theheroic figure.
> He was a baby, then a child, then not much more than that. He wasalways a
> child and acted upon.etc. it
> And when he did act, say when it was about his love for The Thing,
> reminded me of an impotent boy. And quite honestly, I don't knowif he
> would have ever ACTED and left if it had not been for Steerpike'sactions.
> So who is the real hero? And who won?
> Of course, Peake was planning more novels, but I think readers
> been disappointed in many ways. Gormenghast was the center. Thethird,
> well, I discount it. Peake was ill and hardly able to write. Whathe
> began centered around Gormenghast and around Steerpike. I don't<G>
> know...it's disturbing in some ways. And I am disturbed by it.
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