Ascending Peculiarity: Edward Gorey on Edward Gorey

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9780151005048: Ascending Peculiarity: Edward Gorey on Edward Gorey

A vivid self-portrait in words of one of the great American
artists of the twentieth century. Designed to appeal to Gorey lovers as well as
those seeking an introduction to his work, Ascending Peculiarity includes reproductions of previously unpublished drawings and photographs. Edited by Karen Wilkin.

Edward Gorey's extraordinary and disconcerting books are avidly sought and treasured throughout the world, but until now little has been known about the man himself. While he was notoriously protective of his privacy, Gorey did grant dozens of interviews over the course of his life. And as the conversations collected in this book demonstrate, he proved to be unfailingly charming, gracious, and fascinating.

Here is Gorey in his own words, ruminating on everything from French symbolist poetry to soap operas, from George Balanchine and the unique beauty of ballet to Victorian photographs of dead children. We meet the artist in his ramshackle book-lined studio in Manhattan and his equally bizarre house on Cape Cod. We listen as he describes his legendary upbringing and vast range of influences, as well as how he managed to work amid all his cats.

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About the Author :

Edward Gorey (1925-2000) wrote and illustrated such popular books as The Doubtful Guest, The Gashlycrumb Tinies, and The Headless Bust. He was also a very successful set and costume designer, earning a Tony Award for his Broadway production of Edward Gorey's Dracula. Animated sequences of his work have introduced the PBS series Mystery! since 1980.

From Publishers Weekly :

Will Gorey's curious Victorian households scenes of disconcerting, dastardly deeds and "crypto-Edwardian" characters fade into obscurity with his death? Not a chance. Cultish popularity has yielded to international fascination with this fecund author-artist's carefully crosshatched drawings, quaint enchiridions and fey fiction. Curator/art critic Wilkin expands on The World of Edward Gorey (1996), which she coauthored, with this illustrated collection of 21 interviews that reveal Gorey's interests, foibles and habits. Gorey (1925-2001) studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, was drafted in 1943 (training in Utah, he began his writing career with "unpresentable... closet dramas") and majored in French at Harvard. He initially published his books through his own Fantod Press. More than 100 titles followed The Unstrung Harp (1953), and his readership expanded in 1972 with the first of the Amphigorey anthologies. Interviews culled from magazines (Cats, Dance, Vanity Fair), newspapers, NPR and TV (Dick Cavett) reveal Gorey's cultural influences and inspirations (cats, crime narratives, Louis Feuillade, Buster Keaton, the New York City Ballet, Ivy Compton-Burnett) along with minutiae and insights into his erudite, eccentric humor. Best of all, readers glimpse Gorey's creative processes: the texts almost always preceded the drawings, for instance. On his work he was characteristically irreverent: "I get a certain enjoyment out of doing it; but after it's done, I have no feeling for it at all." Stephen Schiff's 1992 "Edward Gorey and the Tao of Nonsense" (from the New Yorker) provides an outstanding overview. This is an exhilarating excursion into an extraordinary imagination (with numerous artistic tips and resources). 8 photos, 150 drawings. (Oct.)Forecast: National publicity and advertising, especially around the holidays, and counter displays will grab fans and gift givers.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Gorey, Edward; Wilkin, Karen
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