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Gormenghast Trilogy

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  • RSHinds@aol.com
    Hi everyone...I m new to the list (first post). I m currently reading the Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake. I don t know if these books are often
    Message 1 of 16 , Jun 26, 2000
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      Hi everyone...I'm new to the list (first post). I'm currently reading the
      Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake. I don't know if these books are often
      discussed on this list, but they seem connected to the tradition of Tolkien,
      Lewis, etc., at least in their foundation of fantasy. Anyway, I'm finding
      the early going very ponderous and less than fulfilling. Can I expect the
      payoffs to increase as I get the gist of it? (I'm only about 80 pages into
      the first novel) Thanks...Bob Hinds
    • Steve Schaper
      ... It is on BBC in America right now, it does seem ponderous and less than fulfilling. ==================================== sschaper@uswest.net
      Message 2 of 16 , Jun 26, 2000
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        At 8:14 AM -0400 6/26/00, RSHinds@... wrote:
        >Hi everyone...I'm new to the list (first post). I'm currently reading the
        >Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake. I don't know if these books are often
        >discussed on this list, but they seem connected to the tradition of Tolkien,
        >Lewis, etc., at least in their foundation of fantasy. Anyway, I'm finding
        >the early going very ponderous and less than fulfilling. Can I expect the
        >payoffs to increase as I get the gist of it? (I'm only about 80 pages into
        >the first novel) Thanks...Bob Hinds


        It is on BBC in America right now, it does seem ponderous and less
        than fulfilling.

        ====================================

        sschaper@...
        members.delphi.com/sschaper/web/sschaper.html
        ====================================
      • David F. Porteous
        Lewis, etc., at least in their foundation of fantasy. Anyway, I m finding ... It is on BBC in America right now, it does seem ponderous and less than
        Message 3 of 16 , Jun 26, 2000
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          <<>Lewis, etc., at least in their foundation of fantasy. Anyway, I'm
          finding
          >the early going very ponderous and less than fulfilling. Can I expect the
          >payoffs to increase as I get the gist of it? (I'm only about 80 pages into
          >the first novel) Thanks...Bob Hinds


          It is on BBC in America right now, it does seem ponderous and less
          than fulfilling.>>

          I watched the series, which is apparently a VERY good tele-version of the
          books, and found it ponderous and strange. When it concluded I felt less
          than fulfilled.

          D.
        • WendellWag@aol.com
          In a message dated 6/26/00 8:16:08 AM Eastern Daylight Time, RSHinds@aol.com writes:
          Message 4 of 16 , Jun 26, 2000
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            In a message dated 6/26/00 8:16:08 AM Eastern Daylight Time, RSHinds@...
            writes:

            << Anyway, I'm finding
            the early going very ponderous and less than fulfilling. Can I expect the
            payoffs to increase as I get the gist of it? >>

            I enjoyed them, although it took me a long time to work through the books.
            They're a different sort of thing than Tolkien and Lewis. I can easily
            imagine that it takes a different sort of taste to appreciate them.

            Wendell Wagner
          • Mary Kay Kare
            ... I read the first 2 books when I was in college and have to say I didn t find them particularly enjoyable. David B. treated us to a showing of part of the
            Message 5 of 16 , Jun 26, 2000
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              Steve Schaper wrote:
              >
              > At 8:14 AM -0400 6/26/00, RSHinds@... wrote:
              > >Hi everyone...I'm new to the list (first post). I'm currently reading the
              > >Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake. I don't know if these books are often
              > >discussed on this list, but they seem connected to the tradition of Tolkien,
              > >Lewis, etc., at least in their foundation of fantasy. Anyway, I'm finding
              > >the early going very ponderous and less than fulfilling. Can I expect the
              > >payoffs to increase as I get the gist of it? (I'm only about 80 pages into
              > >the first novel) Thanks...Bob Hinds
              >
              > It is on BBC in America right now, it does seem ponderous and less
              > than fulfilling.
              >
              I read the first 2 books when I was in college and have to say I
              didn't find them particularly enjoyable. David B. treated us to a
              showing of part of the BBC production which did little to change my
              mind, though the twins were incredible. I think, basically, I need
              characters I can like in a book to really enjoy it and I didn't find any.

              MKK
            • David Lenander
              I think the books are magnificent. Likeable or not, there are so many memorable characters. It s Dickens squared (with maybe some psychedelics mixed in).
              Message 6 of 16 , Jun 26, 2000
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                I think the books are magnificent. Likeable or not, there are so many memorable
                characters. It's Dickens squared (with maybe some psychedelics mixed in).
                Ponderous, I suppose, but worth pondering. I think the reason that they read so
                slowly is that they are so filling. I will admit that upon first reading, at age
                15, I wasn't sure if I was going to finish the books, but at page 100 I looked
                back and realized that I did find the story interesting and the characters unlike
                any others I'd ever encountered. I came to quite like the Doctor, and even, in an
                odd way, the aunts, the Countess and the mad earl, as well as (of course)
                Fuschia. The Strawbs recorded a song about Lady Fuschia, so I'm not the only one,
                I think. And the story of Steerpike is at least as compelling as Dreiser's _An
                American Tragedy_. Titus is rather a cipher, though.

                Mary Kay Kare wrote:

                > RSHinds@... wrote:
                > > >Hi everyone...I'm new to the list (first post). I'm currently reading the
                > > >Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake. I don't know if these books are often
                > > >discussed on this list, but they seem connected to the tradition of Tolkien,
                > > >Lewis, etc., at least in their foundation of fantasy. Anyway, I'm finding
                > > >the early going very ponderous and less than fulfilling. Can I expect the
                > > >payoffs to increase as I get the gist of it? (I'm only about 80 pages into
                > > >the first novel) Thanks...Bob Hinds
                > >
                > > It is on BBC in America right now, it does seem ponderous and less
                > > than fulfilling.
                > >
                > I read the first 2 books when I was in college and have to say I
                > didn't find them particularly enjoyable. David B. treated us to a
                > showing of part of the BBC production which did little to change my
                > mind, though the twins were incredible. I think, basically, I need
                > characters I can like in a book to really enjoy it and I didn't find any.
                >
                > MKK
                >
                > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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                > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                >
                > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org

                --

                David Lenander, Library Manager I

                University of Minnesota Bio-Medical Library Access Services

                Diehl Hall / 505 Essex SE, / Mpls., MN 55455

                Phone: work: (612)626-3375 fax: (612)626-2454 home: (651)292-8887

                e-mail: d-lena@... web-page: http://umn.edu/~d-lena/OnceUponATime.html
              • Berni Phillips
                ... Welcome, Bob! We read the Gormenghast books as a Butterbur s Woodshed (the Mythopoeic Society s snail mail discussion group for adult fantasy fiction)
                Message 7 of 16 , Jun 26, 2000
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                  >From: RSHinds@...

                  >Hi everyone...I'm new to the list (first post). I'm currently reading the
                  >Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake. I don't know if these books are often
                  >discussed on this list, but they seem connected to the tradition of Tolkien,
                  >Lewis, etc., at least in their foundation of fantasy. Anyway, I'm finding
                  >the early going very ponderous and less than fulfilling. Can I expect the
                  >payoffs to increase as I get the gist of it? (I'm only about 80 pages into
                  >the first novel) Thanks...Bob Hinds

                  Welcome, Bob! We read the Gormenghast books as a Butterbur's Woodshed (the
                  Mythopoeic Society's snail mail discussion group for adult fantasy fiction)
                  topic some years ago. It was the first time I'd read them and I fell in
                  love
                  with them. The BBC production is nice, but it can't possibly do justice to
                  Peake's language. I would say that "the payoffs" do increase, but the
                  language
                  is so beautiful, I think you have payoff from the beginning. The third
                  book,
                  you know, is unfinished. That one, I could have done without (although if
                  it
                  had been finished, I would have been very keen on it). I particularly liked

                  the character of Gertrude, countess of Gormenghast. (Okay, how could I not
                  like a character who had that many cats?)

                  Berni
                • Sophie Masson
                  I feel the same..Never could quite see what othe people saw in them.. Sophie Author site: http://members.xoom.com/sophiecastel/default.htm ... From: Mary Kay
                  Message 8 of 16 , Jun 26, 2000
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                    I feel the same..Never could quite see what othe people saw in them..
                    Sophie
                    Author site:
                    http://members.xoom.com/sophiecastel/default.htm

                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: Mary Kay Kare <kare@...>
                    To: mythsoc@egroups.com <mythsoc@egroups.com>
                    Date: Tuesday, 27 June 2000 2:49
                    Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Gormenghast Trilogy


                    >Steve Schaper wrote:
                    >>
                    >> At 8:14 AM -0400 6/26/00, RSHinds@... wrote:
                    >> >Hi everyone...I'm new to the list (first post). I'm currently reading
                    the
                    >> >Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake. I don't know if these books are
                    often
                    >> >discussed on this list, but they seem connected to the tradition of
                    Tolkien,
                    >> >Lewis, etc., at least in their foundation of fantasy. Anyway, I'm
                    finding
                    >> >the early going very ponderous and less than fulfilling. Can I expect
                    the
                    >> >payoffs to increase as I get the gist of it? (I'm only about 80 pages
                    into
                    >> >the first novel) Thanks...Bob Hinds
                    >>
                    >> It is on BBC in America right now, it does seem ponderous and less
                    >> than fulfilling.
                    >>
                    >I read the first 2 books when I was in college and have to say I
                    >didn't find them particularly enjoyable. David B. treated us to a
                    >showing of part of the BBC production which did little to change my
                    >mind, though the twins were incredible. I think, basically, I need
                    >characters I can like in a book to really enjoy it and I didn't find any.
                    >
                    >MKK
                    >
                    >------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    >Click here for savings: beMANY!
                    >http://click.egroups.com/1/4115/8/_/505012/_/962038439/
                    >------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    >
                    >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                    >
                  • David S. Bratman
                    Gormenghast is massive and slow. Not just the castle, but the books. You need to be attuned to the speed to enjoy them. They re like watching the stars wheel
                    Message 9 of 16 , Jun 27, 2000
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                      Gormenghast is massive and slow. Not just the castle, but the books.
                      You need to be attuned to the speed to enjoy them. They're like watching
                      the stars wheel across the sky, where most books these days are like a
                      Tatooine pod race.

                      They can be very slow going indeed. The first time I read _Titus Groan_,
                      it took me a couple months to finish: in those days I rarely had to spend
                      more than a week or two with a novel that length.

                      The TV production is very good, but bone-crushingly condensed. All
                      you'll get from it is a sense of the atmosphere (which they did very
                      well) and a precis of the plot of the first two books.

                      That said, my answer to Bob's original question, "Is there a payoff?", is
                      yes. _Titus Groan_ has a sturdy climax, and _Gormenghast_ a tremendous
                      one -- these do NOT come across that well in the TV production -- whose
                      strength and weight are all the more solid because of the amount of
                      space, time, and care put into building them up.

                      Definitely a minority taste, but cherished by those who love it.

                      David Bratman
                      - not responsible for the following advertisement -
                    • LSolarion@aol.com
                      In a message dated 06/26/2000 5:15:58 AM Pacific Daylight Time, RSHinds@aol.com writes:
                      Message 10 of 16 , Jun 28, 2000
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                        In a message dated 06/26/2000 5:15:58 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
                        RSHinds@... writes:

                        << I'm currently reading the
                        Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake. I don't know if these books are often
                        discussed on this list, but they seem connected to the tradition of Tolkien,
                        Lewis, etc., at least in their foundation of fantasy. >>

                        Being fantasy is about the only thing they have in common, IMHO. The
                        Gormenghast books are darker, more stylish, depending less on a sense of
                        cosmic wonder than on bizarre but inventive characters and situations, and
                        literary panache. Very good reading in their way, but not in the Inklings
                        mode. They are more atmospheric and slower-paced, so be patient. Also more
                        character-oriented than plot-oriented.
                        Hope that helps.
                        Steve
                      • RSHinds@aol.com
                        In a message dated 6/28/00 10:14:15 PM Central Daylight Time, LSolarion@aol.com writes:
                        Message 11 of 16 , Jun 29, 2000
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                          In a message dated 6/28/00 10:14:15 PM Central Daylight Time,
                          LSolarion@... writes:

                          << Very good reading in their way, but not in the Inklings
                          mode. They are more atmospheric and slower-paced, so be patient. Also more
                          character-oriented than plot-oriented.
                          Hope that helps. >>

                          I'm sorry, all, but it's the patience that Steve counsels here that I'm
                          afraid I've finally run out of. I've bailed out. I hate to admit it, but
                          I'm becoming addicted to (at least a little bit of) literary instant
                          gratification. Gormenghast involved too much dues paying without enough
                          intermittent reward! Thanks to you all for your feedback. Bob Hinds
                        • ERATRIANO@aol.com
                          In a message dated 06/29/2000 9:05:01 AM Eastern Daylight Time, RSHinds@aol.com writes:
                          Message 12 of 16 , Jun 29, 2000
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                            In a message dated 06/29/2000 9:05:01 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
                            RSHinds@... writes:

                            << I'm sorry, all, but it's the patience that Steve counsels here that I'm
                            afraid I've finally run out of. I've bailed out. >>

                            LOL I've done that on occasion. Sometimes because the book is just not
                            providing what I feel is a good return on my precious time (we don't have the
                            endless reading time we did in high school anymore do we?), other times
                            because I can't give the book enough time to read it properly. I bailed a
                            few years back on Kazantzakis' _Report to Greco_, having enjoyed some of his
                            other works. I can't wait to someday read it for real.

                            Lizzie
                          • WendellWag@aol.com
                            Put it back on your shelf (well, return it to the library if it was a library book) and wait a few years. Sometimes time and experience changes your tastes.
                            Message 13 of 16 , Jun 29, 2000
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                              Put it back on your shelf (well, return it to the library if it was a library
                              book) and wait a few years. Sometimes time and experience changes your
                              tastes.

                              Wendell Wagner
                            • ERATRIANO@aol.com
                              In a message dated 06/29/2000 11:34:19 AM Eastern Daylight Time, WendellWag@aol.com writes: True,
                              Message 14 of 16 , Jun 29, 2000
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                                In a message dated 06/29/2000 11:34:19 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
                                WendellWag@... writes:

                                << Sometimes time and experience changes your tastes. >>

                                True, very true. In either direction. We all know the little letdown of
                                revisiting a book we loved and finding it less than we remember.

                                Somehow I can't imagine ever reaching the point where I will be comfortable
                                reading The Alexandria Quartet or the Brothers Karamazov. But one never
                                knows..... What else are we individually finding difficult to digest?

                                Lizzie
                              • David S. Bratman
                                ... I personally find it difficult to digest almost any recent fantasy bestseller (Robert Jordan, David Eddings, to name two I ve seriously tried), except for
                                Message 15 of 16 , Jun 29, 2000
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                                  On Thu, 29 Jun 2000 ERATRIANO@... wrote:

                                  > What else are we individually finding difficult to digest?

                                  I personally find it difficult to digest almost any recent fantasy
                                  bestseller (Robert Jordan, David Eddings, to name two I've seriously
                                  tried), except for the Harry Potter books, which go down easy.

                                  David Bratman
                                  - not responsible for the following bestseller -
                                • RSHinds@aol.com
                                  In a message dated 6/29/00 1:06:35 PM Central Daylight Time, dbratman@genie.idt.net writes:
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Jun 29, 2000
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                                    In a message dated 6/29/00 1:06:35 PM Central Daylight Time,
                                    dbratman@... writes:

                                    << I personally find it difficult to digest almost any recent fantasy
                                    bestseller (Robert Jordan >>

                                    Here, here....I find most of them to be written for 10th graders. I've tried
                                    Robert Jordan and had to scratch my head wondering what all the fuss was
                                    about.
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