Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Inspire Me, Edward Gorey

Edward Gorey has been an inspiration to me beginning 7 years ago when I stumbled upon a copy of Amphigorey Also in a used bookstore (and almost stupidly didn’t buy it because it was 12 whole dollars; at the time I didn’t know it was somewhat rare, especially being in hardcover form). My favorite Gorey story, The Doubtful Guest, can be found in his compendium Amphigorey, luckily my local public library owns that volume as well as Amphigorey Too.
In 1974, a Doubtful Guest creature was manufactured and sold in a very limited edition of 50. Gorey even signed the tags attached to the scarf of each one. Can I please have one? Or if someone wants to make me one, that would be cool too.

I love Gorey's illustrations, his Victorian settings, mysterious characters, and his style of writing, which is often darkly humorous. Sometimes a bit too disturbing, most of his stories are definitely not for children, despite having a picture book appearance at first glance. Gorey once said, “My mission in life is to make everybody as uneasy as possible. I think we should all be as uneasy as possible, because that's what the world is like.” 
If you’re just as inspired by Edward Gorey's work as I am, I would recommend reading Ascending Peculiarity, which is a collection of interviews. Gorey was quite an interesting character, much like the ones he created, and he was known for having many cats and wearing large furs on the rare occasions that he left his home. If you can get past lengthy passages about his obsession with the New York City Ballet, it is a fascinating look into the mind of a genius.

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