Friday, August 29, 2008

Forthcoming talk in the Isle of Wight

I'll be giving a talk at the Anthony Minghella Theatre in Newport on 19th September. Everyone is welcome to come.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Titus books in Complex Chinese

Published at the beginning of August as individual titles, Linking Publishing of Taiwan has produced a handsome version of the Titus Trilogy in Chinese Complex. The three separate volumes are just in time for the Olympic Games.

The Hall of Bright Carvings, by Ian Miller

The artist Ian Miller has been an admirer of the Titus Trilogy for many years, and has recently produced this highly exotic interpretation of the Hall of Bright Carvings.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Mr Pye, described by a resident of Guernsey

Click on the image to see it at the full size.

Guernsey resident and Mervyn Peake admirer, Maureen Ogier, writes in her article in Guernsey Life about the part Mr Pye played in both her interest in the novel, and how so many physical aspects of the island were to influence its writing. Quoting heavily from the book, it certainly made an impression.

A talk in Loughborough

I will be speaking at Loughborough University English Department on the 3rd December. Anyone interested in the work of Mervyn Peake is welcome, whether a student at the university or not.

A review by Ray Olson in Booklist

Boy in Darkness and Other Stories has now been reviewed in Booklist
"This compelling new edition of artist-writer Peake's short fiction is decorated with 40 drawings and paintings in both Peake's principal manners: gorgeously romantic, as in the figureless landscape here, and grotesquely energetic, as in the illustrative figure drawings that fit the stories so well, whether or not conceived to do so. Reproduced in color, even when that color is only that of the paper on which an image is drawn, these add to the body of readily available work by an illustrator of the caliber of Goya, Cruickshank, Tenniel, Daumier, Dore, and Cocteau.
Still, don't just look at the pictures. Read the long title story, in particular, to enjoy one of the most sensuous and mysterious English writers, a fantasist so concerned with color, sound, and light that they become actors in the fiction. Does anybody else write like this and so well? The other five short pieces, though often as much literary essay a la Lamb as story, alloy the burnished strangeness of Peake at his best with subtle, rather dour humor.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A review for Boy in Darkness

From The MidWest Book Review, Oregon:
"Boy in Darkness and Other Stories assembles works of fiction by author Mervyn Peake (1911-1968), who is perhaps best known for his trilogy of Titus novels set in the decaying castle of Gormenghast. The novella "Boy in Darkness" was originally conceived during that trilogy, and features an unnamed fourteen-year-old boy, most likely Titus Groan himself, in a dream-like adventure that stretches beyond his rigidly ritualistic home. As he wanders a bleak landscape, he is captured by the malevolent Goat and Hyena, the henchmen of an implacable evil seeking to steal his soul.

"The five other tales in the anthology are resurrected after being out of print for many years; they range from a grim ghost story to tongue-in-cheek character studies. Further enhancing this collection are a selection of original drawings and paintings by the author, most in black-and-white but a ver few in colour. A treasury of classic literature, highly recommended for personal reading lists as well as public and college library editions."

Mr Pye television series

A Sark-born fan of the Channel 4 series, now Guernsey resident, remembers well the making of the television adaptation of Mr Pye, especially as it was her brother from whom the eponymous 'missionary' snatches the ice cream the young boy has just been given.

Another Sark link. And another.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Collected Poems

A review for Strange Horizons by the science fiction writer, Adam Roberts.

Michael Moorcock's library

Michael Moorcock, one of the most prolific and most original voices in the literature of the last fifty years has selected from his extensive library a selection of books by Mervyn Peake.

A Book of Nonsense, sung in Texas

At a concert featuring 85 musicians at the Texas State University, nonsense verse by Mervyn Peake was sung to an enthusiastic audience. It seems that a new Peake fan club is developing in mid Texas.

From the programme: "It has become a healthy ritual that the Austin Chamber Music Summer Workshop includes a chance for the students to let their hair down a bit, with a creative project that allows them to explore music as a tool of invention, communication and socialization, with an emphasis on process rather than product. (We could all use a bit of that!) In the past several years, we have worked with both the Primary Division and Young Artists to engage them in a project that tries to extend their horizons beyond just ‘playing the dots’."