Monday, January 05, 2009

A small chain of coincidences and a realization...

I've just returned from New York where they seem to think it's funny to have temperatures in the single digits. On more than one occasion I yearned for a larger, warmer coat. I asked Sarah if she thought there was a correlation between the length of a man's winter coat and his age (from Pea Coat to Great Coat), but she dismissed the whole issue as brain freeze. Visions of Edward Gorey's nonchalant, mustachioed men in luxuriant floor-sweeping furs danced in my head as I walked like a robot in need of oil down Broadway in the wind-whipped night searching for various cold and flu remedies for our sickly city-slicker hosts. Oddly then, Christmas yielded a nice gift from my mother, a book about the life and art of, wait for it... Edward Gorey.

Of course I'm a fan. Not the kind of true enthusiast who combs secondhand bookstores for Doubleday and Grosset and Dunlap editions for which he illustrated the covers (my brother, Ted, certainly fits into that Categorey.), but a fan nonetheless.

The arrival of the Gorey book got me thinking of how aesthetically great the Edwardian era must have been in Great Britain, and I was happy to have a book dedicated to a macabre Englishman who knew his country's strengths well. Well knock me over with a falling piano, turns out the late Gorey was an American! And to top it off, he never even visited the place!! The whole universe he drew was culled from books and imagination. Once again, this proves my theory that the visions of the conjurer sink deeper and are ultimately worth more than the fact-checked reports of the historical journalist.

("Edward Gorey at home in Yarmouthport, Mass., 1992" by Steve Marsel)


Blogger Squirrel said...

he makes those cats look so luxurious. to snooze under a pile of cats...(well only 3 in the photo but still)
Yes it's very c c cold here. Tonite may be a 3 cat night.

2:45 PM  
Blogger ArtSparker said...

I suppose that puts Gorey in the tradition of Wallace Stevens and Joseph Cornell, who never crossed the ocean.

2:01 PM  

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