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Kristin Livdahl
Posted on Tuesday, September 09, 2003 - 12:39 pm:   

Anybody want to discuss something other than poetry and football? I just finished Peake's Titus trilogy and am working on the essays included the massive tome Alan got me. I really enjoyed it although there were times when I found it claustrophobic and navel gazing. I'm still trying to figure out what I think of the last book and the whole Peake versus Tolkein thing that's been thrown about lately. Anyone want to share their own thoughts?
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Nick Mamatas
Posted on Tuesday, September 09, 2003 - 02:03 pm:   

Peake RULES!!!

How's that?
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minz
Posted on Wednesday, September 10, 2003 - 01:48 pm:   

I definitely prefer Tolkien, but Peake deserves his props. I think the interesting, unexplored comparison of the two would lie in analyzing the lags in the narrative of each, contrasting the underlying causes of said lags, and which is the bigger turnoff.

What, me critical?
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 08:49 am:   

I'll bite on this Peake vs. Tolkien discussion.

Tolkien's language often seems like it comes out of fairy tales and old epics (I realize this was a conscious decision). Peake's language is very rich, and the writing in the Gormenghast books is incredible.

Tolkien's characters took a backseat to furthering his mythic plot. Many of them seem to lack distinct personalities. Peake gave characters distinct personalities and motivations, even if those seem completely mad. They seem more like real people.

Tolkien's plot, despite being about saving the world, never had a sense of urgency. Everything seems leisurely. Peake manages to make a story with much more urgency, even though the fate of the world is not at stake.

However, the very richness of Peake's language and characters ends up making the plot move slowly. Despite the leisurely pace, LotR moves a bit
faster than Gormenghast.

Even with my preference for Peake in language and characters, there is something appealing about Tolkien's myth-creation. I find Tolkien hitting
me at an emotional level and Peake hitting me at an intellectual level. Both are things I enjoy, and I don't see why some people need to pick one
or the other.
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Haddayr Copley-Woods
Posted on Wednesday, September 17, 2003 - 08:14 am:   

Please, people! Some of us are new to all of this. What is Peake's first name, and the name of the first book in the trilogy?

Thank you for your time and attention.
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Nick Mamatas
Posted on Wednesday, September 17, 2003 - 09:47 am:   

Mervyn. Titus Groan.
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Haddayr Copley-Woods
Posted on Thursday, September 18, 2003 - 07:50 am:   

Thank you, my good man.
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Kristin Livdahl
Posted on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 05:30 pm:   

I started a discussion and then got caught up in wedding preparations/implementation. Sorry. A few people have stated that the genre would be better served if the adulation heaped on Tolkien was focused on Peake instead. The arguments I've heard tend to be primarily political, a reaction against Tolkien's pastoralism and feudalism, the point that evil and danger is much more likely to come from within than without, and others along similar lines. I read Tolkien at much too early a stage in my development to ever begin to be able to shake its influence on me, while I came to Peake only at 36 years old. It's hard for me to speculate what my reaction to the books would have been if I'd read them earlier.

I enjoyed the first two books a lot more than the last one. Although there were many times when I just wanted someone to leave (or at least look beyond) Gormenghast in the first two books, I spent most of the last book hoping that Titus would hurry back home. Titus Alone was too vague in setting and seemed repetitive in places to me.

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