Thursday, September 25, 2008

A talk in Glasgow

On 14th March 2009 Rob Maslen, who so brilliantly edited Carcanet's recently published Collected Poems of Mervyn Peake, will join me as the reader at Glasgow's prestigious Aye Write literary festival. I will provide the biographical background to the poems while Rob will read selected poems from the beautifully-produced book.

Steerpike chosen by the Daily Telegraph

Chosen as one of the 50 Greatest Villains in Literature, Steerpike emerges in this assessment of the role of those characters evil enough to be granted the dubious honour, not so much as villain in some readers' opinion, rather as anti-hero par excellence. The definitive angry young man perhaps, but far more menacing, dangerous, determined and murderous, than any character from a 1950's play.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Collected Poems review in The Guardian

Unambiguous in its enthusiasm, and poignantly au fait with the tone and scope of the eclectic topics written about, Jay Parini's article in the review section of the Guardian of the 6th September of the Collected Poems of Mervyn Peake, is a delight to read.

Rather than attempting a precis of the many subjects, Parini focuses principally on aspects of the war, with the almost balletic art of the glassblower being one, the sailor and the baby as principals in the long narrative poem, The Rhyme of the Flying Bomb, another, and the return of the soldier to his sweetheart, on leave from the army, reminding the modern reader of another age, another pain.

The Wordsworth Trust

The warm welcome extended by the director and staff of the Wordsworth Trust at the talk at Dove Cottage on 30th August, was accompanied by the equally enthusiastic reception following the illustrated lecture of the life and work of Mervyn Peake. It was good to see that every seat was taken in the wonderfully modern and well-equipped specialist reading room where first editions of Coleridge and Wordsworth and others are held. Following my talk all the remaining hard cover copies of Mervyn Peake: The Man & His Art were sold as were copies of the Collected Poems.

It was also good to know that apart from being displayed regularly, the illustrations for The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner will be seen across the country when relevant exhibitions come up. They are currently on tour but will return to Dove Cottage later in the year when as previously indicated they can be viewed by those interested in the way my father saw, felt, and understood Coleridge's masterpiece.

Chinese editions of the Titus Books

Here are the front covers of the Complex Chinese editions from Linking Publishing which were published recently. With an attractively produced photograph of the author, and using the illustrations from earlier English editions, the Chinese translation will hopefully attract a new reading public in a part of the world where the idea for Titus Groan was originally inspired.