Tuesday, August 7, 2018

REAL GOREY




Note:
I wrote this post over two years ago. I decided to rehash it now, simply because I'm in a Gorey mood.



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:

http://cabinetofcurioustreasures.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-gashlycrumb-tinies.html



Meanwhile, here are a few random Gorey illustrations for your viewing pleasure. 

 Edward Gorey with cat










14 comments:

  1. I proudly confess that I am a Gorey fan. You have really spelled it out very clearly: Love of cats and ballet, dislike of children, penchant for solitude. I know that you and I are huge fans of Ramon N. so I am wondering if having these qualities attracts us to him or is it because he had the sweetest nature and was dropdead gorgeous?

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    1. I couldn't resist Gorey because he had so many of the quirky qualities that intrigue me - especially his grimly macabre sense of humor.

      I had never heard of Novarro until I read about him in Kenneth Anger's "Hollywood Babylon" (long ago). I was extremely intrigued and tried to find out everything I could about him (that was before the Internet was around). I even got to see the house where he was murdered.
      When I finally had a chance to watch some of his films I fell in love with his charm. Especially in "The Pagan"....

      He indeed had a sweet nature and was gorgeous.

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  2. a fascinating fella to be sure. wonderful artwork.

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    1. There's something about his artwork that really intrigues me - - the mysterious,Gothic,macabre,and devilishly humorous aspect.

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  3. I always enjoy watching the little Gorey figures in the beginning and end of Masterpiece Mystery. There fun to watch.

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    1. I do, too. They're extremely appropriate in setting the "mood" of Masterpiece Mystery.

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  4. Yes, I remember this Gorey post! My favorite remain the feline in the library window and 17 at 82 Maple. I fear the others would provoke my nightmares.
    Interesting use of color in slide #5!

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    1. My favorites are the ones with the cats, too.
      But I shudder when I see those 17 felines at 83 Maple Street - because they remind me of the nightmare I went through in Texas when my neighbor moved and abandoned her 20 cats. All the cats moved to my place and my back porch looked like Gorey's illustration, only worse.

      I like the use of color on #5, too, but I'm wondering if the color was added by someone else. Gorey almost exclusively did black and white illustrations.

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  5. I remember you introducing me to him when I said his work reminded me of what I saw on Masterpiece Mystery! I LOVE his cats, especially--but all his work makes me smile. ;)

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  6. I love his cats, too. From what I've heard, Gorey had a lot of cats and his illustrations capture them perfectly (or purrrrfectly). His grim style of humor always makes me smile.

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  7. I hadn't heard of Edward Gorey before. Thanks for the introduction. I like him.

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  8. Thanks, John! I can't resist anyone who's name is "Gorey"...

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  9. I'm familiar with Gorey, and that's because YOU introduced me to him when you ran the post the first time. (Thank you!) His artwork is fabulous and it reflects a quirky way of looking at life. Dark humor, I suppose. I like!

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    1. I love dark, quirky, macabre humor (kinda like Alfred Hitchcock). Thanks, Susan!

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