Published August 25, 2020
America's king of the maccabre would have made one helluva sartorialist.
But Edward Gorey was a also book artist. He illustrated other writers' book covers and wrote and illustrated his won. He was a playwright and a set and costume designer, on top of that. His illustrated books were known for their humor, gothic sensibility, Victorian nonsense verse, and the brevity of their pages, a practice that was encouraged by his love of Japanese and Chinese art. He explained that the white expanse of the page created by his sparse drawings left more room for wit to flower.
He had read all the works of Victor Hugo by the age of 8. All his life, he was devoted to cats, was addicted to movies, and loved ballet. And though he had next to no art education, he continues to be praised posthumously for work that's been likened to "existential nonsense about the horrors of everyday life."