Mervyn Peake

(July 9,1911 - November 17,1968)

Mervyn Peake
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Mervyn Laurence Peake was an English modernist writer, artist, poet and illustrator. He is best known for what are usually referred to as the Gormenghast books, though the Titus books would be more accurate: the three works that exist were the beginning of what Peake conceived as a lengthy cycle, following his protagonist Titus Groan from cradle to grave, but Peake's untimely death prevented completion of the cycle, which is now commonly but erroneously referred to as a trilogy. They are sometimes compared to the work of his older contemporary J.R.R. Tolkien, but his surreal fiction was influenced by his early love for Charles Dickens and Robert Louis Stevenson rather than Tolkien's studies ... more »

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  • 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 ...
    Mervyn Peake (1911-1968), British author, artist. "Boy in Darkness," Sometime, Never (1956).
  • ''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.''
    Mervyn Peake (1911-1968), British author, artist. "Each Day I Live in a Glass Room," A Reverie of Bone (1967).
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