Edward Gorey  

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"... funny and unsettling, especially when he crosses the line, as he occasionally does, into the “sick humor” of contemporaries such as the cartoonist Gahan Wilson." --Born to Be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey (2018) by Mark Dery

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Edward St. John Gorey (Either February 22 or February 25, 1925April 15, 2000) was a writer and artist noted for his macabre illustrated books.


Gorey was noted for his fondness for ballet and cats, of which he had many. Both figure prominently in his work. His knowledge of literature and films was unusually extensive, and in his interviews, he named as some of his favorite artists Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, Francis Bacon, George Balanchine, Balthus, Louis Feuillade, Ronald Firbank, Lady Murasaki Shikibu, Robert Musil, Yasujiro Ozu, Anthony Trollope, and Johannes Vermeer. Gorey was also an unashamed pop culture junkie, avidly following soap operas and TV comedies like Buffy the Vampire Slayer.


Gorey's influence is readily apparent in the work of many artists working in many different mediums. In 1999, Edward Gorey designed the front and rear cover art for his long time friend Clif Hanger, the founder/lyricist/vocalist for Cape Cod, Massachusetts punk rock band The Freeze. The album, titled One False Move, was released in late 1999. Gorey also co-wrote with Clif Hanger the lyrics to one of the band's songs titled "Alien Heads." Cartoonists such as Dame Darcy and Tony Millionaire tell dark, whimsical tales with plenty of Gorey-esque visual flourishes; Hollywood's Tim Burton's directorial style owes much to Gorey and various musical acts have displayed influence. For example, the Nine Inch Nails music video for the song "The Perfect Drug" was designed specifically to look like a Gorey book, with familiar Gorey elements including oversize urns, topiary plants, and glum, pale characters in full Edwardian costume.Template:Fact Also, Caitlín R. Kiernan has published a short story titled "A Story for Edward Gorey" (Tales of Pain and Wonder, 2000) which features Gorey's black doll.

A more direct link to Gorey's influence on the music world is evident in The Gorey End, an album recorded in 2003 by the Tiger Lillies and the Kronos Quartet. This album was a collaboration with Gorey, who liked previous work by The Tiger Lillies so much that he sent them a large box of his unpublished work, which were then adapted and turned into songs. Gorey died before hearing the finished album.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Edward Gorey" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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