Fantasy Gothic - Gormenghast
I have come to the end of my Audible reading of 'Gormenghast' part 1. 20 hours of speech. Thoroughly enjoyed, though must admit would wander off occasionally as things had to be done.
The story has always intrigued me, the characters are often quite ugly and cruel, Steerpike especially so, as he manipulates himself through the various levels of ceremony that grind through this enormous castle. You are never quite sure what Mervyn Peake is saying. Is it a reflection of the society he finds himself in when he wrote the book?
The movement of tradition and wieldy government that still exists in our society, is he mocking his characters and us with their nastiness? The third book looked towards a modern future, but what I remember of it, it was still miserable about the state of humanity. He had other books planned but Parkinson's Disease intervened and he died at the early age of 58 years old.
His storytelling can be put alongside, Lewis and Tolkien, that time when literature was written in a rich vein of imagination, but the length of Peake's tales would put most people off.
So what next, I have marked George Elliot's 'Middlemarch' there is a book by Elly Griffiths - 'The Stone Circle'. Phil Rickman - For the Hell of It' and of course Thomas Hardy and Macfarlane, already too many books marked off in my wish list. Also note that these Audio Reads, cost a lot when not reduced by Amazon's so called 'sale price'.
Today on the news they were discussing the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh next Saturday, and how people were grumbling about not being allowed to gather, either on that day or this week. We are always back to freedom as far as some people are concerned. Freedom to transmit the virus? He arranged the detail of his own funeral, and I would expect his strong character would have stipulated not many people. In the end our death belongs to family and friends not to the wider world.