My observant blog visitors have undoubtedly noticed the Gashlycrumb Tinies illustration on my sidebar. Gorey fans will recognize it instantly. The uninitiated will wonder "What the hell is that?"
I have been an Edward Gorey fanatic for nearly as long as I can remember. The essence of his nature is strongly akin to mine: a love of cats, a dislike of children, a balletomane, a penchant for solitude, a decidedly enigmatic and eccentric existence. His delightful books and illustrations are a delicious combination of grim humor, mystery, and the macabre - - always drenched in a Victorian and/or Edwardian atmosphere.
And yes, Gorey - very appropriately - is his real name.
Edward St. John Gorey (1925-2000) was born in Chicago and lived much of his later life in Massachusetts, where his Cape Cod home is now a museum. He studied at Harvard and - although largely a self-taught artist - completed one semester at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He was a book cover illustrator for Doubleday in New York between 1953-1960.
This is not intended to be a biography, but rather an introduction to possibly whet your appetite. Gorey - much like his artistic creations - was unique, intriguing, and well worth discovering.
An interesting side note: Edward Gorey's stepmother was cabaret singer Corinna Mura. She was the woman with the guitar in Rick's cafe who sang La Marseillaise in the movie Casablanca.
I posted The Gashlycrumb Tinies in it's entirety on my other blog at this link:
Meanwhile, here are a few random Gorey illustrations for your viewing pleasure.
Edward Gorey with cat