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Descripción de editorial
The definitive biography of Edward Gorey, the eccentric master of macabre nonsense.
From The Gashlycrumb Tinies to The Doubtful Guest, Edward Gorey's wickedly funny and deliciously sinister little books have influenced our culture in innumerable ways, from the works of Tim Burton and Neil Gaiman to Lemony Snicket. Some even call him the Grandfather of Goth.
But who was this man, who lived with over twenty thousand books and six cats, who roomed with Frank O'Hara at Harvard, and was known -- in the late 1940s, no less -- to traipse around in full-length fur coats, clanking bracelets, and an Edwardian beard? An eccentric, a gregarious recluse, an enigmatic auteur of whimsically morbid masterpieces, yes -- but who was the real Edward Gorey behind the Oscar Wildean pose?
He published over a hundred books and illustrated works by Samuel Beckett, T.S. Eliot, Edward Lear, John Updike, Charles Dickens, Hilaire Belloc, Muriel Spark, Bram Stoker, Gilbert & Sullivan, and others. At the same time, he was a deeply complicated and conflicted individual, a man whose art reflected his obsessions with the disquieting and the darkly hilarious.
Based on newly uncovered correspondence and interviews with personalities as diverse as John Ashbery, Donald Hall, Lemony Snicket, Neil Gaiman, and Anna Sui, Born to Be Posthumous draws back the curtain on the eccentric genius and mysterious life of Edward Gorey.
Avant-garde writer and artist Edward Gorey comes across as almost odder, if less adventurous, than his characters in this atmospheric biography. Gorey, a native Chicagoan and an Anglophile, innovated by looking back to vintage British illustrations, stocking his drawings with bearded gentlemen, bustled ladies, flappers, and crepuscular mansions; his groundbreaking short picture books featured droll send-ups of Victorian melodrama, replete with dying children, bizarre creatures invading parlors, and dark figures haunting lonely landscapes. Culture critic Dery (Flame Wars) shrewdly plumbs Gorey's work, which inspired goth fashions, Tim Burton movies, and Lemony Snicket's children's books. In his telling, Gorey's personality is also a showy exterior with an enigmatic interior: Gorey sported a bristling beard, long fur coats, jewelry, and Wildean mannerisms; though he was prone to at times having "all-consuming crush" on men, he proclaimed himself asexual. Gorey's uneventful, solitary life can be less than exciting, and the narrative sometimes bogs down in his collections and love of George Balanchine's ballets. Fans will like the immersion in Gorey-ana, but others may feel that this colorful protagonist lacks a compelling plot. Photos. Andrew Stuart, Stuart Agency.