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Born to Be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey
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Mark Dery
Born to Be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey by Mark Dery at Abbey's Bookshop,

Born to Be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey

Mark Dery


9780008329815

Harper Collins


Illustration;
Biography;
Biography: arts & entertainment


Hardback

512 pages

$34.99
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The definitive biography of Edward Gorey, the eccentric master of macabre nonsense.

From The Gashlycrumb Tinies to The Doubtful Guest, Edward Gorey's wickedly funny and deliciously sinister little books have influenced our culture in innumerable ways, from the works of Tim Burton and Neil Gaiman to Lemony Snicket. Some even call him the Grandfather of Goth.

But who was this man, who lived with over twenty thousand books and six cats, who roomed with Frank O'Hara at Harvard, and was known – in the late 1940s, no less – to traipse around in full-length fur coats, clanking bracelets, and an Edwardian beard? An eccentric, a gregarious recluse, an enigmatic auteur of whimsically morbid masterpieces, yes – but who was the real Edward Gorey behind the Oscar Wildean pose?

He published over a hundred books and illustrated works by Samuel Beckett, T.S. Eliot, Edward Lear, John Updike, Charles Dickens, Hilaire Belloc, Muriel Spark, Bram Stoker, Gilbert & Sullivan, and others. At the same time, he was a deeply complicated and conflicted individual, a man whose art reflected his obsessions with the disquieting and the darkly hilarious.

Based on newly uncovered correspondence and interviews with personalities as diverse as John Ashbery, Donald Hall, Lemony Snicket, Neil Gaiman, and Anna Sui, Born to be Posthumous draws back the curtain on the eccentric genius and mysterious life of Edward Gorey.

By:   Mark Dery
Imprint:   Harper Collins
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 240mm,  Width: 159mm,  Spine: 45mm
Weight:   750g
ISBN:   9780008329815
ISBN 10:   0008329818
Pages:   512
Publication Date:   December 2018
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Mark Dery is a cultural critic. He coined the term `Afrofuturism,' popularised the concept of `culture jamming,' taught at Yale and NYU, and has published widely on pop culture, the media, and on the mythologies (and pathologies) of American life. His books include Flame Wars, a seminal anthology of writings on digital culture; Escape Velocity: Cyberculture at the end of the century, The Pyrotechnic Insanitarium: American Culture on the Brink, and the essay collection, I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts: Drive-by Essays on American Dread, American Dreams. Like Gorey, his mission in life is `to make everybody as uneasy as possible.'


`Edward Gorey has been granted the most remarkable biography, one I believe he could have lived with. What was the likelihood that this singular genius could be restored, with such compassion and grace, within his whole context: Balanchine, surrealism, Frank O'Hara, Lady Murasaki, et al? This is a Dery Gorey book' Jonathan Lethem `Edward Gorey's ardent admirers have long known there is something about his work one can't quite pin down. Past all reason, Mark Dery has pinned it down. A genius book about a bookish genius' Daniel Handler, author of A Series of Unfortunate Events `As a perfervid Goreyphile, I was a bit leery of a biography undertaking to spell out the details of his life. Did I really want to have the mystery solved? But Mark Dery drags the pond to revelatory result, contextualising and analysing Gorey, plunging into his obsessions, dissecting his sexuality, and even examining the philosophical import of nonsense while somehow managing to leave the central enigma radiantly intact. This is an absolutely riveting book about an utterly sui generis subject' Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home `Knowing Gorey's full story, done sparkling justice by Mark Dery, will only make you adore him more' Caitlin Doughty, author of Smoke Gets In Your Eyes 'The best biographies are the result of a perfect match between author and subject, and it's relatively rare when the two align perfectly. But that's the case with Born to Be Posthumous Dery's book is smart, exhaustive and an absolute joy to read. He has given Gorey the biography he has long deserved' NPR `Born to Be Posthumous clears the dust bunnies from the shadowy corners of the House of Gorey, revealing a talent that extended far beyond the macabre faux Victoriana we remember best, and a mind unlike any other' Vogue `Engaging and entertaining' Herald Scotland

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