Life, Miscellaneous

Gormenghast to Ziggurat

I can’t afford to get sick. I have too blasted much to do. Unfortunately, my body is not listening, recalcitrant thing that it is.

For those of you asking: I don’t know what’s going on with Those Who Fight Monsters. It was supposed to ship in March; the publisher will have a clearer idea of what’s up. (ETA: There’s a giveaway here.)

I’ve also finished the Gormenghast novels. I was ambivalent about Titus Groan, I quite liked Gormenghast, but Titus Alone lost all the goodwill the first two books earned. (Can we please stop having the Callow Adventurer being so Irresistible To The Laydeez? GAH.) Peake’s genius for names and the decaying Gothick splendour of the castle itself were magical, and I could even see the first two books as a sort of social allegory. Steerpike was my favourite character, with Fuschia and the Doctor as close seconds; but Peake betrayed every single woman in the book dreadfully. Anything with ovaries was a cipher, and not a very well-drawn one at that. However, props to Peake for taking Steerpike to his logical conclusion, and not flinching. I said it before and I’ll say it again: I think Dr. Prunesquallor was Peake himself, and Titus was what Peake wanted to view himself as. This leaves Steerpike as the id, or the Shadow. (My vote is for Shadow, but I might be biased.) Once Steerpike was gone, the book ended. If the story belongs to the character that changes the most (as Laura Kalpakian, I believe, said, though I’ve attributed it before to Karen Fisher), then the Gormenghast books belong to Steerpike.

End result: I’m glad I read it, though I probably never will again. I may go back to Gormenghast and read for Steerpike, but that’s about it.

A majority of this weekend will be spent sucking on cough drops and helping with the grand reopening of Cover to Cover, my favourite local indie bookstore. I was down there today, breathing in the new paint fumes as bookcases (recently cleaned of smoke, the old location suffered a dreadful fire) were carried in, as well as various sundries–and I just got a call telling me that the gigantic ziggurat of book boxes was making its way into the store. The books were lovingly cleaned and taken care of by the staff at Servicemaster (who have been incredibly wonderful, and gentle, thorough, and kind) and are almost ready to go up on the shelf. We just have to drag the shelves around and reassemble them.

So yeah, there’s my weekend. There will be pizza, and sore muscles, and a great deal of dust and excitement. All in all it’s a good way to finish saying farewell to a character or two. The old Cover to Cover saw many a long discussion with my writing partner, where we both hashed over aspects of a book (hers or mine, didn’t matter) or generally noodled on about writing. Soon we’ll start treating the book-lined walls of a new place to long discussions of plot and genre and animus, pop culture and lit fic and ships and seas and sailing wax, cabbages and kings.

You can tell I’m excited. I have a ton of pictures from the moving in. Including pictures of Shirley the penguin, perched on a high shelf as is her wont, staring dramatically at the ceiling. (Yes, we have a two-foot high plastic penguin, and her name is Shirley. Just one of the many reasons I love this store.)

Oh, and there’s more trouble to get Bannon & Clare into as well. I think it’s about time they met an Adventurer…

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