- Gormenghast, that is, the main massing of the original stone, taken by itself would have displayed a certain ponderous architectural quality were it possible to have ignored the circumfusion of those mean dwellings that swarmed like an epidemic around its outer walls.
- This tower, patched unevenly with black ivy, arose like a mutilated finger from among the fists of knuckled masonry and pointed blasphemously at heaven.
- Withdrawn and runinous it brooods in umbra: the immemorial masonry: the towers, the tracks. Is all corroding? No. Through an avenue off spires a zephyr floats; a bird whistles; a freshet bears away from a choked river.
- There is a kind of laughter that sickens the soul. Laughter when it is out of control: when it screams and stamps its feet, and sets the bells jangling in the next town. Laughter in all its ignorance and cruelty. Laughter with the seed of Satan in it. It tramples upon shrines; the belly-roarer. It roars, it yells, it is delirious: and yet it is as cold as ice. It has no humour. It is naked noise and naked malice.
- Each day I live in a glass room Unless I break it with the thrusting Of my senses and pass through The splintered walls to the great landscape.
- But we have seen it in the air, A fairy like a William Pear
- O'er seas that have no beaches To end their waves upon, I floated with twelve peaches, A sofa and a swan.
- I saw all of a sudden No sign of any ship.
- It's not their fault if, in the heat Of their transactions, I repeat It's not their fault if vampires meet And gurgle in their spats.
- When Uncle Jake Became a snake He never found it out; And so as no one mentions it One sees him still about.
- Leave the stronger and the lesser things to me! Lest that conger named Vanessa who is longer than a dresser visits thee.
- To live at all is miracle enough.
- Mervyn Peake is a finer poet than Edgar Allan Poe, and he is therefore able to maintain his world of fantasy brilliantly through three novels. It (Gormenghast trilogy) is a very, very great work ... a classic of our age.
- [Peake's books] are actual additions to life; they give, like certain rare dreams, sensations we never had before, and enlarge our conception of the range of possible experience.
- Words were shapes and sounds to him. He saw them, as if he were listening to an unknown language, in shapes.