Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Cheers to Edward Gorey ...

So, I was in this bar called Cheers (yes, that Cheers), chatting up one of the locals, a dude who seemed like your typical Boston guy - Red Sox jersey, ball cap, accent (my lunch is pictured below).

Mmmmm.... beer.
After the usual small talk, he asked what I was doing in town. I had gone to Boston to deliver a paper on horror elements in children's literature, a book project I am currently working on, and gave the guy the quick rundown, expecting him to nod and mutter "uh huh, uh huh" (kind of like my husband does when I start telling him about anything work-related). Instead, he asked excitedly if I had ever heard of Edward Gorey.

Now, I had to admit, and this is probably shocking to some of you out there, that I had actually never heard of Edward Gorey before (especially shameful considering what I was working on). This Boston boy gave me a Gorey education. I left Cheers (with a slight buzz), headed to the nearest book store, and picked up an Amphigorey. When I got home and began digging more into Gorey's work, I quickly learned that he is a master of the macabre for children.  His books are delightfully weird and the illustrations are superb; there is an exquisiteness to the art that makes it both miniscule and larger than life (or, in the case of The Gashlycrumb Tinies, death personified).

Find the books here. You'll want his entire bibliography.
One of the most exciting things that Boston boy told me was that you can visit Gorey's house at 8 Strawberry Lane, Yarmouth Port, MA. You see, I've always had this dream, since reading about Emily Dickinson's house, of taking a driving trip through New England, visiting the homes of all the writers who have touched my life (and my head) in some way. I've added Gorey's house to the list.
Find out more about the Gorey House here. The latest exhibit at the Gorey museum is The Envelope Art of Edward Gorey. Why don't we decorate envelopes anymore:(? A lost art.
The winner of yesterday's challenge (ok, the only person who commented, but I'll take it) described Miss Maleficent thus: "Beautiful, intelligent & powerful." Amen to that. Also, this poster reminded me of the Villain Store at Disney World, which I had completely forgotten about. You can find items from the store at this link. My favorite, this pop-art piece titled "Birthday Wishes." It's only $494.50 (tongue firmly inserted in cheek).

Available for purchase at the Disney Store, Disney Villains section.
 Tomorrow, I'll introduce you to a young man I like to call Slovenly Peter.

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