Titus Groan is a tale riddled with an incomparable fantasy of an astounding encompassing imagination. Expansive but hardly ever trite. The Gormenghast castle is inhabited by the strangest, purest, sweetest, stupidest, funniest and most fascinating characters which are rare to find not only in daily life but in fiction as well. There is so much to be said about all of the impressive protagonists but I feel as if I’d start I’d never be able to end nor will I ever be able to astutely describe how wonderfully round and interesting they are. And funny. So funny.
Some quotes that I want to remember for reasons I shall never reveal :
At the mention of her father Fuschia closed her eyes.
She had herself searched – searched. She had grown far older during the last few weeks – older in that her heart has been taxed by greater strains of passion that it had held before. Fear of the unearthly, the ghastly – for she had been face to face with it – the fear of the madness and of violence she suspected. It had made her older, stiller, more apprehensive. She had known pain – the pain of desolation – of having been forsaken and of losing what little love there was.
‘Glorious’, said Steerpike, ‘is a dictionary word. We are all imprisoned by the dictionary. We choose out of that vast, paper-walled prison our convicts, the little black printed words, when in truth we need fresh sounds to utter, new enfranchised noises which would produce a new effect. In dead and shackled language, my dears, you are glorious, but oh, to give vent to a brand new sound that might convince you of what I really think of you, as you sit there in your purple splendour, side by side! But no, it is impossible. Life is too fleet for onomatopoeia. Dead words defy me I can make no sound, dear ladies, that is apt.’
…also know as the best compliment ever to have uttered everywhere in the universe and possibly several other dimensions. I also enjoy the criticism of the dictionary and how it imprisons language, deadens and stunts it. I feel the same, Steerpike. Albeit not to compliment two annoying and dim-witted creepy sisters.
…accompanied by a tide of white cats.
1.Mervyn Peak’s own cover design 2. Fuschia 3. Steerpike & Fuschia 4. Steerpike via (& also see more)