Saturday, 16 January 2010

New Gormenghast Story

Now I'm usually against flogging dead horses and writing sequels to books after the author has died. However, the story of Mervyn Peake's wife writing a sequel to his other Gormenghast books is, well, beautiful.

The details are interesting. Maeve Peake was intimately entangled in her husband's writing, partly because he began to suffer from Parkinson's, but also simply because she loved him. She played a part in bringing together the last of the books he wrote (Titus Alone) and so the fact she took his notes for a fourth book and finished it himself shortly after Peake's death seems natural. Rather than this being a cash-in, it was an act of catharsis and of love. She was protecting his heritage. Although, the fact she never had the manuscript published may be telling. But I for one would certainly be interested in reading it, purely for curiosity's sake.

Whether it becomes a cash-in for the publishers, however, is yet to be seen.

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