Thursday, March 10, 2011

Edward Gorey & Peter Neumeyer

Tim Burton owes him. So does Neil Gaiman. And a recent article in the New York Times tracks new and resurgent interest in the macabre stories and drawings of Edward Gorey:
Told in verse and illustrated in a style that crosses Surrealism with the Victorian true-crime gazette, Gorey stories are set in some unmistakably British place, in a time that is vaguely Victorian, Edwardian and Jazz Age all at once. Though Gorey was a 20th-century American, he conjured a world of gramophones and cars that start with cranks, of boater-hatted men in Eton collars knocking croquet balls across the lawn while sloe-eyed vamps in cloches look on, and sinister things sink, bubbling, into the reflecting pond. His titles are instructive: “The Fatal Lozenge,” “The Deadly Blotter,” “The Hapless Child,” “The Haunted Tea-Cosy.”

After dislocating Gorey's shoulder, Peter Neumeyer (emeritus professor and founder of SDSU's children's literature program) became friends with the reclusive writer and the two of them did books together. In the summer of 2011, Pomegranate Press will publish their correspondence in a work by Neumeyer titled Floating Worlds. These letters provide an intimate portrait of Gorey and of an extraordinary friendship. Keep an eye or two out for it.

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