During the past forty years or so, I have written several epitaphs, each reflective of my state of mind, each supplanting the last with some newer notion of who I am. Here is the latest iteration and its source.
Not quite half way through Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast Trilogy, I’ve become a true believer. While the books are astounding, there is also a worthy BBC adaptation from 2000 which merits your attention… remarkably true, it seems to me, to the vastness of Peake’s conception in only four hours. [Not incidentally, half the cast seem to have come from “Harry Potter” and “Nanny McPhee”!]
The opening credits of the BBC Gormenghast are accompanied by the music of Richard Rodney Bennett: a setting for boy soprano of a Peake poem given to the tutors at Titus Groan’s school, I offer the lyrics here for their melancholy:
This is the shorter version of a much longer poem at the heart of the book and will appear on what passes for my tombstone.