This chapter examines the novel Mr Pye, which, it argues, is the most consciously constructed of Peake's prose works, with fine control of language and layered meanings. Its irony makes it funny as well as profound, and the philosophical or metaphysical considerations are anchored in concrete events. On one level Mr Pye is about vision and belief in art and religion; on another it dramatizes Peake's impression that love is not ‘rock-like’ but ‘a bird of the air’. On yet another, it may be just a multiple pun: if you prey on a granite island and make it your quarry, all you get is stone. And the reader can enjoy all three of these levels at the same time.
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