Peake Studies Vol 12 no 2. Magazine review

Peake Studies volume 12 number 2, edited by G Peter Winnington (April 2011 issue)

Reviewed by Peter Coleborn

Peake Studies is all about Mervyn Peake, the poet, writer and artist. The bulk of this issue deals with three radio programmes, all broadcast in 1947. The first two were short ten minutes talks, of which this journal publishes the transcripts. They are interesting to read but it would be even better to hear. Alas, the BBC wiped the tapes years ago (typical Beeb!). The first talk is rather metaphysical: Peake describes the world ‘As I See It’.  I rather like the line ‘Each painting, each book, each poem, each drawing should be an adventure with the dice weighted against him.’

In the second show Peake talks about the task of illustrating books, drawing pictures for other people’s words. The first book he thus illustrated was Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark ‘ and this was while he was still in the army. The third transcript is of a round-table discussion, in which Peake is interviewed by a ‘professional’ reviewer and lay readers, where they attempt to analyse the way he wrote. Did he write to a plan? At one point Peake describes the process similar to that of a train journey: ‘I would know what stations I would be passing through, but I wouldn’t know what people would come into the carriages.’

An article by Kay Fuller ‘ who worked at the BBC ‘ provides intriguing insights into the man and his working methods. Plus there are reviews and news and ‘Oodles of Doodles’ by Mervyn Peake. The journal is edited by G Peter Winnington and is published in Switzerland (in English); to subscribe to Peake Studies email peakestudies@gmail.com or visit their website.  

Peake Studies volume 12 number 2, edited by G Peter Winnington (April 2011 issue)

Reviewed by Peter Coleborn

Peake Studies is all about Mervyn Peake, the poet, writer and artist. The bulk of this issue deals with three radio programmes, all broadcast in 1947. The first two were short ten minutes talks, of which this journal publishes the transcripts. They are interesting to read but it would be even better to hear. Alas, the BBC wiped the tapes years ago (typical Beeb!). The first talk is rather metaphysical: Peake describes the world ‘As I See It’.  I rather like the line ‘Each painting, each book, each poem, each drawing should be an adventure with the dice weighted against him.’

In the second show Peake talks about the task of illustrating books, drawing pictures for other people’s words. The first book he thus illustrated was Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark ‘ and this was while he was still in the army. The third transcript is of a round-table discussion, in which Peake is interviewed by a ‘professional’ reviewer and lay readers, where they attempt to analyse the way he wrote. Did he write to a plan? At one point Peake describes the process similar to that of a train journey: ‘I would know what stations I would be passing through, but I wouldn’t know what people would come into the carriages.’

An article by Kay Fuller ‘ who worked at the BBC ‘ provides intriguing insights into the man and his working methods. Plus there are reviews and news and ‘Oodles of Doodles’ by Mervyn Peake. The journal is edited by G Peter Winnington and is published in Switzerland (in English); to subscribe to Peake Studies email peakestudies@gmail.com or visit their website.