Denethor's Library

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[page 8] Denethor's Library {Title Art: The font for the title is written in a thick cursive script.} _Gormenghast Trilogy_, Merwyn Laurence Peake, 1911- , Weybright & Lewis, New York, 1967, 3 volumes; _Titus Groan_, Gormenghast, _Titus Alone_. $7.50,7.50,5.00. Another fine fantasy epic is made available to the public once again after years of oblivion. _Gormenghast_ was called "A parable of the human condition" by C.S. Lewis, and that is a good description. Gornenghast is world within the world, a castle and a mountain cut off from all other outside influences. The inhabitants include Sepulchrave, the Seventy-sixth Earl and heir of the 500 year old line of the Groans, his wife the Countess, his resentful and power-hungry sisters Cora and Clarice, and a conniving young cook's apprentice named Steerpike's whose ambition it is to rise and rule the entire castle and all its inhabitants. _Titus Groan_ tells of the birth of a male heir to the line, soon to become the Seventy-seventh Earl. The story reveals the hidden resentment of his older sister Fuchia and how it comes to be reconciled, as well as the beginning of Steerpike's rise to power through manipulations of Mr. Flay, Sepulhrave's cheif @chief@ servant; then the castle physician, Dr. Prunesquallor; and finally the two jealous twins, Cora and Clarice. _Gormenghast_ continues the epic, with Titus as Earl after the suicide of his father, and the continued rise of steerpike until he becomes Master Of Ritual, in charge of the constant and immemorial rites daily performed by the Earl of Groan. Here he has reached the pinnacle of success and can at last hold the entire castle under his sway. What comes of Steerpike and of Titus' growing rebellion against the all important rituals is told in the second part of the volume. _Titus Alone_ is the culmination of the trilogy in Titus' total and final rejection of his home. He turns forth into the world only to find that all the rest of humanity, even in the modern city, is just as tightly bound by meaningless rites as was his home, and that he is everywhere doomed to be an outcast. Even in the Underground, where the criminals who reject the laws of the city are forced to hide, each man is bound by his own own worthless ceremonies, built through the years. How Titus eventually learns the truth about himself and the world is the powerful impact of this story, and has great relevance, especially in today's society.

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