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Mervyn Peake (1911 – 1968)

English novelist, artist, poet and illustrator.
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Mervyn Peake
Withdrawn and ruinous it broods in umbra: the immemorial masonry: the towers, the tracks. Is all corroding? No. Through an avenue off spires a zephyr floats; a bird whistles; a freshet bears away from a choked river.
Peake quotes
Each day I live in a glass room
Unless I break it with the thrusting
Of my senses and pass through
The splintered walls to the great landscape.
Leave the stronger
and the lesser
things to me!
Lest that conger
named Vanessa
who is longer
than a dresser
visits thee.

Peake Mervyn quotes
Mervyn Peake is a finer poet than Edgar Allan Poe, and he is therefore able to maintain his world of fantasy brilliantly through three novels. It (Gormenghast trilogy) is a very, very great work ... a classic of our age.
Peake Mervyn
There is a kind of laughter that sickens the soul. Laughter when it is out of control: when it screams and stamps its feet, and sets the bells jangling in the next town. Laughter in all its ignorance and cruelty. Laughter with the seed of Satan in it. It tramples upon shrines; the belly-roarer. It roars, it yells, it is delirious: and yet it is as cold as ice. It has no humour. It is naked noise and naked malice.
Mervyn Peake quotes
O'er seas that have no beaches
To end their waves upon,
I floated with twelve peaches,
A sofa and a swan.
Mervyn Peake
Gormenghast, that is, the main massing of the original stone, taken by itself would have displayed a certain ponderous architectural quality were it possible to have ignored the circumfusion of those mean dwellings that swarmed like an epidemic around its outer walls.
Peake Mervyn quotes
This tower, patched unevenly with black ivy, arose like a mutilated finger from among the fists of knuckled masonry and pointed blasphemously at heaven.
It's not their fault if, in the heat
Of their transactions, I repeat
It's not their fault if vampires meet
And gurgle in their spats.
Peake Mervyn
You are the first person who has been able to illustrate the book adequately since Tenniel, though I still argue as I think I argued with you years ago that your Alice is a little bit too much of a gamin.
Mervyn Peake
I saw all of a sudden
No sign of any ship.

Mervyn Peake quotes
Words were shapes and sounds to him. He saw them, as if he were listening to an unknown language, in shapes.
Mervyn Peake
[Peake's books] are actual additions to life; they give, like certain rare dreams, sensations we never had before, and enlarge our conception of the range of possible experience.
Peake quotes
To live at all is miracle enough.
Peake Mervyn
When Uncle Jake
Became a snake
He never found it out;
And so as no one mentions it
One sees him still about.
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