“as empty as an unremembered heart”…reading Mervyn Peake

Ay ay ay ay ay–

I am supposed to be starting up my summer work, but all I want to do is keep reading on Titus Groan. Such amazing prose work. Amazing.

“Half-way up she was able to lift her bundle above her head and push it on to the balcony, and then to swarm after it and find herself standing with the great stage below her as empty as an unremembered heart.”

There is something so artful about the word choice here, and in particular, “unremembered” rather than simply “forgotten.” Forgotten is so many things. It suggests perhaps unintentional failure to keep somebody’s affections in your mind, or a momentary lapse, a pre-occupation with other things. Unremembered, however, suggests an act of will on the part of the memory-holder, perhaps even a rejection of the memory—a knowledge love offered, but so painful and unwanted that the person refuses to even allow the memory to enter her mind.