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Posted by on May 17, 2002

I for — what? I want the past tense of “forgo.” I forwent? I forgone? I forleft? Anyway, I avoided reading the bio of Zelda Fitzgerald. Instead I started slogging my way through the astonishingly dense and detailed trilogy of Gormenghast. Some of you may remember the miniseries, which aired over a span of days and yet left out so much of the original text that it was practically the film version of clift notes. Cliffs notes. Cliff notes is how I always pronounced it, but I can’t speak for the spelling.

Anyway, the author is Mervyn Peake, better known for his line drawings illustrating the original edition of Alice in Wonderland. He believes in details. His description of a character eating a pear is not to be missed — you get the teeth digging into the flesh and the slightly stale taste and the whole nine yards. I’ll post that section when I’m at leisure to do so and oh, my heroes, how you will enjoy it. Characters with whole histories are introduced and every wrinkle in their vests and hair in their noses is lovingly attended to, only to be dropped pages later, seemingly forever. It’s much like reading a Pynchon novel, except enjoyable. (Not counting The Crying of Lot 49, which I totally recommend to anyone who wants a spine-chilling tale of conspiracy and vagaries.)

That’s it for now. I’m pretty caught up in this book. Have a nice weekend, my cautions, and maybe I’ll see some of you.

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