The dark circus : an examination of the work of Mervyn Peake, with reference to selected prose and verse

 

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dc.contributor.advisor Knox-Shaw, Peter en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Marx, Lesley Glen en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2016-11-02T09:07:07Z
dc.date.available 2016-11-02T09:07:07Z
dc.date.issued 1983 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Marx, L. 1983. The dark circus : an examination of the work of Mervyn Peake, with reference to selected prose and verse. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/22413
dc.description.abstract I have attempted in this dissertation to draw together a number of strands that make up the intricate and often bizarre tapestry of Mervyn Peake's work. In the Introduction, I raise an issue that seems to be most central to his vision: the relationship of the artist to worlds both real and imaginary, and the way in which these two worlds relate to each other. In Chapter One, I attempt to examine the multi-faceted nature of Peake's talent. Drawn to all the variety of life, expressing his perception of that variety in many different ways, he tries to come to terms with both the aching beauty and tenderness of the world and its horror and ugliness, often, indeed, revealing beauty in that ugliness. The chapter deals, then, with the poetry, both the joyful and the tormented, with the Nonsense world which informs so much of Peake's vision, and with the need to balance the contrary forces of life which he often reveals so tellingly. Chapter Two brings us to the heart of his vision in Titus Groan. In this chapter I deal with the nature of fantasy and its relation to other modes of opening out the real so that its richness may be revealed: ranance, the marvellous,Gothic. I then examine these in terms of the mythic world that is Gorrnenghast, paying particular attention to ritual and the ways in which the characters in the novel respond to their world, often through escape into private worlds and secret rituals. Peake's use of the grotesque is examined in relation to whether characters are able to grow through their private rituals. The mythic world is again important in Gorrnenghast but here we find a tension between Titus who is at once a part of and apart from his environment, and the Castle which is at once oppressive and nurturing. The ambivalence of attitude that Titus experiences offers a focus for the conflict experienced by the other characters in response to the Castle. Titus is seen to be torn between his role as epic hero of his society and as romantic hero, true to his own impulses. Consequently, the movement towards an assimilation of outer and inner worlds is of vital importance and throughout one is aware that Peake, too, is trying to achieve this assimilation. Having vindicated himself as epic hero of the sheltering canmunity, Titus grows out of the mythic stillness of Gormenghast and in Titus Alone, .we see him confronted by a dystopic world bound to linear time. It is in this deracinated world that Titus learns the value of the Mother that is Gormenghast. He realises that it has given him a set of values that he may bear inside him, that informs and beautifies the world. The parallel between Titus's experience of myth and Peake's experience of imagination is clear, as both put their worlds to the test - the one by physical separation, the other by courageous self-travesty. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.subject.other English Language and Literature en_ZA
dc.title The dark circus : an examination of the work of Mervyn Peake, with reference to selected prose and verse en_ZA
dc.type Master Thesis
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Humanities en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Department of English Language and Literature en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Masters
dc.type.qualificationname MA en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image
dc.identifier.apacitation Marx, L. G. (1983). <i>The dark circus : an examination of the work of Mervyn Peake, with reference to selected prose and verse</i>. (Thesis). University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Humanities ,Department of English Language and Literature. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/11427/22413 en_ZA
dc.identifier.chicagocitation Marx, Lesley Glen. <i>"The dark circus : an examination of the work of Mervyn Peake, with reference to selected prose and verse."</i> Thesis., University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Humanities ,Department of English Language and Literature, 1983. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/22413 en_ZA
dc.identifier.vancouvercitation Marx LG. The dark circus : an examination of the work of Mervyn Peake, with reference to selected prose and verse. [Thesis]. University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Humanities ,Department of English Language and Literature, 1983 [cited yyyy month dd]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/11427/22413 en_ZA
dc.identifier.ris TY - Thesis / Dissertation AU - Marx, Lesley Glen AB - I have attempted in this dissertation to draw together a number of strands that make up the intricate and often bizarre tapestry of Mervyn Peake's work. In the Introduction, I raise an issue that seems to be most central to his vision: the relationship of the artist to worlds both real and imaginary, and the way in which these two worlds relate to each other. In Chapter One, I attempt to examine the multi-faceted nature of Peake's talent. Drawn to all the variety of life, expressing his perception of that variety in many different ways, he tries to come to terms with both the aching beauty and tenderness of the world and its horror and ugliness, often, indeed, revealing beauty in that ugliness. The chapter deals, then, with the poetry, both the joyful and the tormented, with the Nonsense world which informs so much of Peake's vision, and with the need to balance the contrary forces of life which he often reveals so tellingly. Chapter Two brings us to the heart of his vision in Titus Groan. In this chapter I deal with the nature of fantasy and its relation to other modes of opening out the real so that its richness may be revealed: ranance, the marvellous,Gothic. I then examine these in terms of the mythic world that is Gorrnenghast, paying particular attention to ritual and the ways in which the characters in the novel respond to their world, often through escape into private worlds and secret rituals. Peake's use of the grotesque is examined in relation to whether characters are able to grow through their private rituals. The mythic world is again important in Gorrnenghast but here we find a tension between Titus who is at once a part of and apart from his environment, and the Castle which is at once oppressive and nurturing. The ambivalence of attitude that Titus experiences offers a focus for the conflict experienced by the other characters in response to the Castle. Titus is seen to be torn between his role as epic hero of his society and as romantic hero, true to his own impulses. Consequently, the movement towards an assimilation of outer and inner worlds is of vital importance and throughout one is aware that Peake, too, is trying to achieve this assimilation. Having vindicated himself as epic hero of the sheltering canmunity, Titus grows out of the mythic stillness of Gormenghast and in Titus Alone, .we see him confronted by a dystopic world bound to linear time. It is in this deracinated world that Titus learns the value of the Mother that is Gormenghast. He realises that it has given him a set of values that he may bear inside him, that informs and beautifies the world. The parallel between Titus's experience of myth and Peake's experience of imagination is clear, as both put their worlds to the test - the one by physical separation, the other by courageous self-travesty. DA - 1983 DB - OpenUCT DP - University of Cape Town LK - https://open.uct.ac.za PB - University of Cape Town PY - 1983 T1 - The dark circus : an examination of the work of Mervyn Peake, with reference to selected prose and verse TI - The dark circus : an examination of the work of Mervyn Peake, with reference to selected prose and verse UR - http://hdl.handle.net/11427/22413 ER - en_ZA


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