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Re: [mythsoc] M. Peake

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  • David S. Bratman
    - we now return you to our regular programming - ... Titus Alone is a much misunderstood book. Peake s mental powers were indeed failing as he finished it (he
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 21, 2000
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      - we now return you to our regular programming -

      On Thu, 21 Sep 2000 LSolarion@... wrote:

      > I found that the third volume, Titus Alone, much inferior to the first two.
      > Peake was dying as he finished it, and his powers diminished toward the end.
      > My personal opinion is that the "trilogy" works better without it.

      Titus Alone is a much misunderstood book. Peake's mental powers were
      indeed failing as he finished it (he wasn't physically dying for a long
      time to come, which was part of his tragedy), but this only affects the
      sketchiness of the latter part of the book, a sketchiness partially
      repaired in the restored text published by Overlook.

      What upsets most Gormenghast-lovers about Titus Alone cannot be wished
      away on the author's illness. Peake knew what he was doing when he
      conceived this book. It's not a Gormenghast book: it's about what
      happens to Titus after he leaves Gormenghast. Titus is bewildered and
      generally out of his element; and so, if the book works, is the reader.

      It is not the last of a trilogy. Peake intended to write further books
      aobut Titus, and I believe some fragments have been published. The term
      "Gormenghast trilogy" is thus incorrect in both words. If you just want
      Gormenghast, then just read the first two books: that's what the BBC did,
      and they rightly entitled their series "Gormenghast". But if you want
      Titus, or if you want to understand the context that Peake wanted you to
      see Gormenghast in, then read Titus Alone.

      David Bratman
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