Mervyn Peake Quotes

Enjoy the top 122 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Mervyn Peake.

Mervyn Peake Quotes

It was then that the Boy went through his darkest hell of all: the long ache of his body, acute as it was, was yet forgotten or disposed of in some way, for he was filled with a disembodied pain, an illness so penetrating, so horrible, that had he been given the opportunity to die he would have taken it. No normal sensation could find a way through this overpowering nausea of the soul that filled him.
— Mervyn Peake —

I am the wilderness lost in man.

— Mervyn Peake

He saw in happiness the seeds of independence, and in independence the seeds of revolt.

— Mervyn Peake

Mervyn Peake Quotes: Something to remember that cats for
Something to remember, that: cats for missiles.

— Mervyn Peake

It was not certain what significance the ceremony held ... but the formality was no less sacred for it being unintelligible

— Mervyn Peake

For what use are books to anyone whose days are like a rook's nest with every twig a duty.

— Mervyn Peake

Seeing an Earl as an owl on a mantelpiece, and having part of one's face removed by a cat, both on the same morning, can temporarily undermine the self-control of any man.

— Mervyn Peake

Mervyn Peake Quotes: She had shown him by her independence
She had shown him by her independence how it was only fear that held people together. The fear of being alone and the fear of being different.

— Mervyn Peake

Mount and begone. The world awaits you.

— Mervyn Peake

The moon slid inexorably into its zenith, the shadows shrivelling to the feet of all that cast them, and as Rantel approached the hollow at the hem of the Twisted Woods he was treading in a pool of his own midnight.

— Mervyn Peake

There are times when the air that floats between mortals becomes, in its stillness and silence, as cruel as the edge of a scythe.

— Mervyn Peake

Are you lishening, my pretty vermin, are you lishening?

— Mervyn Peake

Mervyn Peake Quotes: The crumbling castle looming among the
The crumbling castle, looming among the mists, exhaled the season, and every cold stone breathed it out. The tortured trees by the dark lake burned and dripped, their leaves snatched by the wind were whirled in wild circles through the towers. The clouds mouldered as they lay coiled, or shifted themselves uneasily upon the stone skyfield, sending up wreathes that drifted through the turrets and swarmed up hidden walls.

— Mervyn Peake

With what characters she had filled this lost stage of emptiness! It was here that she would see the people of her imagination, the fierce figures of her making, as they strolled from corner to corner, brooded like monsters or flew through the air like seraphs with burning wings, or danced, or fought, or laughed, or cried. This was her attic of make-believe, where she would watch her mind's companions advancing or retreating across the dusty floor.

— Mervyn Peake

Irma, my dear sister,' said Prunesquallor, 'I have two things to say. Firstly, why in the name of discomfort are we hanging around in the hall and probably dying of a draught that as far as I'm concerned runs up my right trouser leg and sets my gluteous maximus twtiching; and secondly, what is wrong, when you boil the matter down - with feet? I have always found mine singularly useful, especially for walking with. In fact, ha, ha, ha, one might almost imagine that they have been designed for that very purpose.

— Mervyn Peake

Civilized people don't feel.

— Mervyn Peake

The sun sank with a sob and darkness waded in from all horizons so that the sky contracted and there was no more light left in the world, when, at this very moment of annihilation, the moon, as though she had been waiting for her cue, sailed up the night.

— Mervyn Peake

Mervyn Peake Quotes: You are a clever little monster said the
You are a clever little monster,' said the Doctor, tossing off another cognac and placing the glass upon the table with a click. 'A diabolically clever little monster.' 'That is what I hoped you would realize, Doctor,' said Steerpike. 'But haven't all ambitious people soemthing of the monstrous about them? You, sir, for instance, if you will forgive me, are a little bit monstrous.' 'But, my poor youth, said Prunesquallor, beginning to pace the room, 'there is not the minutest molecule of ambition in my anatomy, monstrous though it may appear to you, ha, ha, ha!

— Mervyn Peake

Mervyn Peake Quotes: Behind him she saw something which by
Behind him she saw something which by contrast with the alien incalculable figure before her, was close and real. It was something which she understood, something which she could never do without, or be without, for it seemed as though it were her own self, her own body, at which she gazed and which lay so intimately upon the skyline. Gormenghast. The long, notched outline of her home. It was now his background. It was a screen of walls and towers pocked with windows. He stood against it, an intruder, imposing himself so vividly, so solidly, against her world, his head overtopping the loftiest of its towers.

— Mervyn Peake

As the figure moved before him he followed the muscles as they wove beneath the skin. he was not only fighting with an assailant who was awaiting for that split second in which to strike him dead, but he was stabbing at a masterpiece
at sculpture that leapt and heaved, at a marvel of inky shadow and silver light. A great wave of nausea surged through him and his knife felt putrid in his hand. His body went on fighting

— Mervyn Peake

Mervyn Peake Quotes: His mind had been working away behind
His mind had been working away behind his high forehead. Unimaginative himself he could recognize imagination in her: he had come upon one whose whole nature was the contradiction of his own. He knew that behind her simplicity was something he could never have. Something he despised as impractical. Something which would never carry her to power or riches, but would retard her progress and keep her apart in a world of her own make-believe. To win her favour he must talk in her own language.

— Mervyn Peake

Mervyn Peake Quotes: Another comber of far pleasure followed
Another comber of far pleasure followed the first, for his books came suddenly before his eyes, row upon row of volumes, row upon priceless row of calf-bound Thought, of philosophy and fiction, of travel and fantasy; the stern and the ornate, the moods of gold or green, of sepia, rose, or black; the picaresque, the arabesque, the scientific - the essays, the poetry and the drama.
All this, he felt, he would now re-enter. He could inhabit the world of words, with, at the back of his melancholy, a solace he had not known before.

— Mervyn Peake

Swelter, as soon as he saw who it was, stopped dead, and across his face little billows of flesh ran swiftly here and there until, as though they had determined to adhere to the same impulse, they swept up into both oceans of soft cheek, leaving between them a vacuum, a gaping segment like a slice cut from a melon. It was horrible. It was as though nature had lost control. As though the smile, as a concept, as a manifestation of pleasure, had been a mistake, for here on the face of Swelter the idea had been abused.

— Mervyn Peake

And a ton came down on a coloured road,
And a ton came down on a gaol,
And a ton came down on a freckled girl,
And a ton on the black canal,
And a ton came down on a hospital,
And a ton on a manuscript,
And a ton shot up through the dome of a church,
And a ton roared down to the crypt.
And a ton danced over the Thames and filled
A thousand panes with stars,
And the splinters leapt on the Surrey shore
To the tune of a thousand scars.

— Mervyn Peake

I want a big breakfast," said Fuchsia at last. "I want a lot to eat, I'm going to think today.

— Mervyn Peake

Each day we live is a glass room
Until we break it with the thrusting
Of the spirit and pass through
The splintered walls to the green pastures
Where the birds and buds are breaking
Into fabulous song and hue
By the still waters.
- Each Day We Live is a Glass Room

— Mervyn Peake

Mervyn Peake Quotes: The love of the painter standing alone
The love of the painter standing alone and staring, staring at the great coloured surface he is making. Standing with him in the room the rearing canvas stares back with tentative shapes halted in their growth, moving in a new rhythm from floor to ceiling. The twisted tubes, the fresh paint squeezed and smeared across the dry upon his palette. The dust beneath the easel. The paint has edged along the brushes' handles. The white light in a northern sky is silent. The window gapes as he inhales his world. His world: a rented room, and turpentine. He moves towards his half-born. He is in love.

— Mervyn Peake

It was then that the Boy went through his darkest hell of all: the long ache of his body, acute as it was, was yet forgotten or disposed of in some way, for he was filled with a disembodied pain, an illness so penetrating, so horrible, that had he been given the opportunity to die he would have taken it. No normal sensation could find a way through this overpowering nausea of the soul that filled him.

— Mervyn Peake

Mervyn Peake Quotes: He had emptied the bright goblet of
He had emptied the bright goblet of romance; at a single gulp he had emptied it. The glass of it lay scattered on the floor.

— Mervyn Peake

Mervyn Peake Quotes: The earth swirls down through the
The Earth swirls down through the ominous moons of preconsidered generations.

— Mervyn Peake

Steerpike was, of course, alive with ideas and projects. These two half-witted women were a gift. That they should be the sisters of Lord Sepulchrave was of tremendous strategic value. They would prove an advance on the Prunesquallors, if not intellectually at any rate socially, and that at the moment was what mattered. And in any case, the lower the mentality of his employers the more scope for his own projects.

— Mervyn Peake

The puckered-up face of the newly-born child, old as the world, wise as the roots of trees. Sin was there and goodness, love, pity and horror, and even beauty for his eyes were pure violet.

— Mervyn Peake

I was brooding, boy. Than which there is no richer pastime. It muffles one with rotting plumes. It gives forth sullen music. It is the smell of home.

— Mervyn Peake

Mervyn Peake Quotes: She stepped outwards into the dim
She stepped outwards into the dim atmosphere, and falling, was most fabulously lit by the moon and the sun.

— Mervyn Peake

Let them touch him. For every hair that's hurt I'll stop a heart.

— Mervyn Peake

Mervyn Peake Quotes: Through her in microcosm the wide earth
Through her, in microcosm, the wide earth sobbed. The starglobe sank in her; the colours faded. The death-dew rose and the wild birds in her breast climbed to her throat and gathered songless, hovering, all tumult, wing to wing, so ardent for those climes where all things end.

— Mervyn Peake

He ran because his decision had been made. It had been made for him by the convergence of half-forgotten motives, of desires and reasons, of varied yet congruous impulses. And the convergence of all these to a focus point of action.

— Mervyn Peake

His voice is unmuffled - it is like a bell, clearly ringing in the night of our confusion; but the clarity is the clarity of imponderable depth ...

— Mervyn Peake

I saw a Puffin
In the Bay of Baffin
Sittin on Nuffin
And it was Laffin.

— Mervyn Peake

It was Crabcalf who, surrounded and walled in by the hundreds of unsold copies of his ill-fated novel, felt that he if anyone should be the judge not only of literature, but all that went on behind the sordid scenes.

— Mervyn Peake

Bellgrove, eminently lovable, because of his individual weakness, his incompetence, his failure as a man, a scholar, a leader or even as a companion, was neverless utterly alone. For the weak, above all, have their friends. Yet his gentleness, his pretence at authority, his palpable humanity were unable, for some reason or other, to function. He was demonstrably the type of venerable and absent-minded professor about whom all the sharp-beaked boys of the world should swarm.

— Mervyn Peake

His staff had shaken hands with her as though a woman was merely another kind of man. Fools! The seeds of Eve were in this radiant creature. The lullabyes of half a million years throbbed in her throat. Had they no sense of wonder, no reverence, no pride?

— Mervyn Peake

It was as though Cutflower was so glad to be alive that he never lived. Every moment was vivid, a coloured thing, a trill or a crackle of words in the air. Who could imagine, while Cutflower was around, that there were such vulgar monsters as death, birth, love, art and pain around the corner? It was too embarrassing to contemplate. If Cutflower knew of them he kept it secret. Over their gaping and sepulchral deeps he skimmed now here, now there, in his private canoe, changing his course with a flick of his paddle when death's black whale, or the red squid of passion, lifted for a moment its body from the brine.

— Mervyn Peake

There is a brotherhood among the kindly- Closer and defter and more integral- Than any of aisle or coven- For love rang out before the chapel bell

— Mervyn Peake

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