Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Kelly's Book 11: Ascending Peculiarity
I'm still working on The Book of Vice, but I thought it would be a good idea to pick November's book so that I've committed to it just as soon as I am done. I have selected this book, Ascending Peculiarity: Edward Gorey on Edward Gorey, based solely on the fact that is is the shortest book I have remaining.
(I picked up Double Fold and then noticed that it has approximately 3,346 end notes in it. I may have to purchase the Kindle version to save myself from constantly flipping to the back of the book! [Oh, the irony for a book with the subtitle "Libraries and the assault on paper."])
I have been a fan of Edward Gorey since I was a kid, when my father introduced me to his work. I vividly remember reading and re-reading Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats (written by T.S. Eliot, illustrated by Gorey) as well as a fantastic pop-up book called The Dwindling Party, which goes for around $100 now on Amazon, if you want it in good condition (and much more for mint!) I've never been able to bring myself to shell out the dough for a copy, but it excites me to see it there again, so I'm sure I will break down one day.
In college, a poster depicting The Gashlycrumb Tinies was a fixture in many a dorm room, including mine. (I just rifled through my old photos to see if I could find one from that time period that included the poster, but alas, I did not. [I did, however, find some hilarious photos of us -- we were so young!]) My favorite was always "N is for Neville who died of ennui." Amazing -- I could have a fresh copy of that poster for only $3 now.
Over the years, I have amassed quite a few of Gorey's books -- he was quite prolific (according to my old pal Wikipedia, he created "over 100 books") -- but I know very little about the man himself (just learned from that entry that he was born in Chicago!) This book is a compendium of interviews with Gorey between the years 1973-1999.
I also have the book The Strange Case of Edward Gorey (a biography, written by a close friend) languishing here on my shelf. Perhaps this month would be a good time to read that as well and make it a Gorey-iffic month. It's a slim volume -- we'll see. I guess I should have done this in October, but November is still a rather spoooky month, now that the sun sets at 4:30 every night (Have I mentioned lately I hate the time change? If not... I do.)
I would love to go visit the Edward Gorey house. I've never been to Massachusetts -- have you? Care to join me on a trip next year? ;)