It appeared in 1946, receiving ecstatic critical response, though it never reached a wide public.The book- part of an unfinished series of novels- takes place in Gormenghast Castle, “a vast and ancient landscape of crumbling towers and ivy-filled quadrangles. It is the hereditary residence of the Groan family, a world predetermined by complex and immemorial ritual and peopled by dark characters” who inhabit a labyrinth of half-lit corridors, great dreamlike halls and cobwebbed attics. It’s a world parallel to our own, neither better nor worse, but stale as if frozen forever in a bizarre pose. However there are echoes of turbulence even in those murky waters as a season of violence, murder and crawling madness is approaching..Titus groan has been a described as the only true instance of gothic expressionism in English literature. I find it’s something more, a brilliant and macabre farce. It’s a work of the private imagination. Self-mockery is evident in the characters’ farcical names: The melancholy Lord Selpuchrave, Prunesqualor, castle physician, professor Deadyawn… This strange story really moved me and left me too-like musician Robert Smith-“breathing like the drowning man”.

By Michalis Gialitakis English Teacher

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