at the Edward Gorey House

The murmur of Gorey fans is filtering up the stairs: this is the first week of the EGH’s 2012 show, “The Envelope Art of Edward Gorey,” after last Sunday’s grand opening. (Everyone here was so busy, they didn’t realize the gala day was also the 12th anniversary of Edward’s death on 4/15/00.)  Ombledroom the vast white-and-black cat is as chunky and friendly as ever, and Yarmouth Port is sparkling with green grass and yellow forsythia.

The exhibit is extraordinary: dozens of envelopes and postcards dating back to the days when you could mail a letter for 5 cents, addressed by Edward Gorey to his mother and three of his closest friends, and lavishly hand-decorated with lumplike creatures, rainbow dragons, flying babies, mini-dramas starring a pair of black-and-white dogs in letter sweaters, or entire parlor scenes fit for PBS’s “Mystery” series.  Curator Rick Jones has managed to find a number of the items featured in these remarkable pictures, too: a display of blue glass bottles, a curtain tassel, even the head of a fly.  If you’re on Cape Cod between now and October, don’t miss this remarkable showcase of a genius having fun!


One thought on “at the Edward Gorey House

  1. Betty: So glad you liked it!For someone known prcniipally as a visual artist, Gorey always showed huge sensitivity to the English language (and by extension, to writing and writers). His odd little books are usually written at least as much as drawn.In The Unstrung Harp, Gorey tells the tale of a Mr. Earbrass, who is trying to focus on writing a new novel. The captions to say:Mr. Earbrass stands on the terrace at twilight. It is bleak; it is cold; and the virtue has gone out of everything. Words drift through his mind: anguish turnips conjunctions illness defeat string parties no parties urns desuetude disaffection claws loss Trebizond napkins shame stones distance fever Antipodes mush glaciers incoherence labels miasma amputation tides deceit mourning elsewards Before he knew what he was doing, Mr. Earbrass found he had every intention of spending a few weeks on the Continent. In a trance of efficiency, which could have surprised no one more than himself, he made the complicated and madding preparations for his departure [etc….].I’d happily have composed any of those sentences myself!

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