Edward Gorey

Contrary to popular myth, Edward Gorey was not British. In fact, he only traveled outside of the United States once, on a trip to the Scottish Isles. Gorey was born in Chicago in 1925, he studied French literature at Harvard, and he eventually made a career for himself as an illustrator and author--a truly remarkable feat, considering what publishers' reactions to his early work must have been. (Editor: "This book is called what? The Curious Sofa: A Pornographic Work? And you want Ogdred Weary as your nom-de-plume? Ohhhhhkay, then...." *pushes button on desk* "Security? Would someone escort Mr. Gorey out of the building?") Gorey's elegant, precise, and utterly bizarre work can be found in the collections Amphigorey, Amphigorey, Too, and Amphigorey Also, in his numerous short stories, in the illustrations he has provided for other authors' books, on countless book covers, through set design, and, of course, the iconic opening sequence for PBS's Mystery! series.

Note: Edward Gorey provided the cover art for many a Wordcandy novel, but I have always felt that his covers for Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White, Sarah Caudwell's Hillary Tamar mysteries, and Joan Aiken's James III series were particularly happy matches of author-to-cover artist.

Note #2: Anyone who has ever seen their work side-by-side knows that Lemony Snicket owes Edward Gorey big. Snicket is probably about a million times richer than Gorey ever was, but the concept, characters, and plots of his Series of Unfortunate Events books are nothing more than cheap knock-offs of Gorey's trademark blend of humor and the macabre. Even the covers of the Unfortunate Events books are distinctly Gorey-esque, complete with some very familiar-looking oval-shaped heads and long, angular bodies.



Other Recommendations:
Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll

The Debt to Pleasure, by John Lanchester

http://www.goreyography.com/default.html -
Posted by: Julia


No comments yet. Be the first!

No new comments are allowed on this post.