Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Unit 2 - Space

Gormenghast, Titus Groan
For this new unit, Space, I had chosen, at random, folder 6 which contained The Gormenghast Novels by Mervyn Peake made in 1946.

Not knowing anything about this, I read up the plot of the story. The series of novels follow Titus through his life and his relationship to the castle, Gormenghast, detailed in four books; Titus Groan, Gormenghast, Boy In The Darkness (though the castle is never named) and Titus Alone. There were two other books planned, Titus Awakes and Gormenghast Revisted, but due to Parkinson's disease Mervyn passed away only ever writing a few hundred words. 

Whilst the story has two protagonists, Titus Groan and Steerpike, the novels also explore the lives of the denizens of the castle. 

The selected book from the series given is Titus Groan, the first entry. 

Upon reading the selected sections given, there are a number of well described places. The Hall of The Bright Carvings, features wooden sculptures that the craftsmen, of the extremely large city, create for a festival. The light entering and reflecting off of these sculptures would be a great example for colour, consisting mainly yellows, oranges and reds giving a warm feeling yet a cold loneliness to the occupant. 

The Great Kitchen would be another prime choice, giving yet another warm feeling and chaotic mood when in motion. The environment can be perceived in two ways. The first being a calm, clean and static as it is first imagined to be in the book. Then as it becomes occupied, it becomes drenched in the fires on the ovens, stained with food, making it feel animated, with the shadows in motion.

The next location is The Attic. This one location is divided into three sections, all of which are occupied by the mind and memories of Fuchsia. The first of three, is the lumber room which isn't as useless at it sounds. It contains worn out furniture, a broken piano, hundreds of pictures, with a centred light giving a vague image of the dark room. The second is the acting room, which has quite a dark, gloomy presence about it, occupied by five imaginary figures conjured by Fuchsia's mind. Past this room, is the balcony with an overview of the city, which is in itself another location. Then finally the 'secret attic'. It is here where her most wild and self-contained thoughts are apparent. There is a window, from which she observes others and her paranoia grows the most. Though the downside to this room is that it is bare of detail and fascination.

The last is The Room of Roots. At first, this room is depicted as an ivory infestation covering every inch of the enormous room with demonic hand-like branches, to only later be described as a painting. A colourful one at that. With that in mind, I could depict it as I first imagined it to be or how the author later reinforced it to be.

Either way, this seems like an excellent novel and I look forward to expressing my imagination of the world.


  1. Looking forward to it, Jake! :D

  2. Theres some great images to come out of this book :)