follow us in feedly
It’s alive! The continuing cultural influence of Edward Gorey, master of the macabre
03.03.2011
11:59 am

Topics:
Art
Literature

Tags:
Mark Dery
Edward Gorey

image
 
Mark Dery writes in today’s New York Times of the continuing influence of Edward Gorey, author of Amphigorey and The Gashlycrumb Tinies. Dery is currently writing a biography of the gruesome author and illustrator, a book the linguistically exact cultural critic seems to have been born to write:

Gorey was born to be posthumous. His poisonously funny little picture books — deadpan accounts of murder, disaster and discreet depravity, narrated in a voice that affects the world-weary tone of British novelists like Ronald Firbank and Ivy Compton-Burnett — established him as the master of high-camp macabre.

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.”

Read more at The New York Times.

Below, Edward Gorey’s iconic opening sequence for PBS’s Mystery! television anthology:
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
21.C: The Future is Here

image
 
Australia’s 21.C, edited by Ashley Crawford, was probably the best magazine of the ‘90s—it was my favorite at least—and to be profiled in its pages and later to contribute to it, was an lot of fun for me.

21.C was the most unabashedly intellectual and forward-thinking journal that I have ever seen, anywhere. And it was a striking and beautifully designed product to hold in your hands. Each issue was finely crafted, I must say. To have my own writing published alongside the likes of Erik Davis, Mark Dery, Greil Marcus, Hakim Bey, Rudy Rucker, Bruce Sterling, R.U. Sirius and Kathy Acker was an honor. I also met Alex Burns via Ashley and Alex, of course, went on to edit the Disinformation website for many years.(I wrote about art for 21.C’s sister publication—also edited by Ashley Crawford—the quarterly glossy World Art. I know that I wrote an article about the product design of the Japanese pop combo Pizzicato 5, but I can’t remember what else.)

Now 21.C is back as an online magazine. There’s also a lot of still interesting archival pieces on subjects such as William Burroughs, Timothy Leary, Terence McKenna and Robert Anton Wilson that readers of this blog will find very interesting, I’m sure. There’s an interview with me from 1996 conducted by R.U. Sirius where I tell the nutty story of how Disinformation was started. Welcome back 21.C!
 
image
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment