Steerpike is icily calculating and glacially manipulative. He doesn’t have a warm emotion to his name beyond the impulse to self-advancement by any means and the satisfaction of seeing human puppets dance to his tunes.
An extreme version of a common enough type and the sooner they can be singled out and contained, the better. Many of them manage to flourish for years in unsuspecting organizations, wreaking endless low-level havoc.
See another insight into the wormings of his brain.
‘… but he was soon his cold, calculating self, with his ordered mind like a bureau with tabulated shelves and pigeon-holes of reference.’
See also our bestellar review of this book, with its lavishly illustrated quote-mosaic, packed with fine phrasing and fresh metaphors.
Source: Mervyn Peake, Titus Groan, introduction by Anthony Burgess (London: Vintage Books, 1998), p. 162
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