Ascending Peculiarity by Edward Gorey
Edward Gorey on Edward Gorey

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A vivid self-portrait in words of one of the great American
artists of the twentieth century. Designed to appeal to Gorey lovers as well as
those seeking an introduction to his work, Ascending Peculiarity includes reproductions of previously unpublished drawings and photographs. Edited by Karen Wilkin.

Edward Gorey's extraordinary and disconcerting books are avidly sought and treasured throughout the world, but until now little has been known about the man himself. While he was notoriously protective of his privacy, Gorey did grant dozens of interviews over the course of his life. And as the conversations collected in this book demonstrate, he proved to be unfailingly charming, gracious, and fascinating.

Here is Gorey in his own words, ruminating on everything from French symbolist poetry to soap operas, from George Balanchine and the unique beauty of ballet to Victorian photographs of dead children. We meet the artist in his ramshackle book-lined studio in Manhattan and his equally bizarre house on Cape Cod. We listen as he describes his legendary upbringing and vast range of influences, as well as how he managed to work amid all his cats.


About Edward Gorey

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Born in Chicago in 1925, Edward Gorey was one of the most renowned artists and writers of our time. He died in 2000. Karen Wilkin is a curator and art critic, and coauthor of the acclaimed The World of Edward Gorey.
Published October 9, 2001 by Harcourt Brace Academic Pub.. 292 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Photography, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Ascending Peculiarity

Publishers Weekly

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Will Gorey's curious Victorian households—scenes of disconcerting, dastardly deeds—and "crypto-Edwardian" characters fade into obscurity with his death? Not a chance. Cult

Sep 03 2001 | Read Full Review of Ascending Peculiarity: Edward...

The New York Times

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How Gorey became Gorey is the heart of the 21 interviews with assorted writers and critics, dated from 1973 to 1999, the year before his death, collected in ''Ascending Peculiarity: Edward Gorey on Edward Gorey,'' edited by Karen Wilkin, an art critic who also contributes a useful introduction.

Oct 14 2001 | Read Full Review of Ascending Peculiarity: Edward...

Publishers Weekly

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Interviews culled from magazines (Cats, Dance, Vanity Fair), newspapers, NPR and TV (Dick Cavett) reveal Gorey's cultural influences and inspirations (cats, crime narratives, Louis Feuillade, Buster Keaton, the New York City Ballet, Ivy Compton-Burnett) along with minutiae and insights into his e...

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Beginning with Alfred, Lord Tennyson, whose 1888 reading from "The Charge of the Light Brigade" is offered here on audio for the first time, Poetry Speaks spans more than a century and presents the recordings of 42 writers, including Edna St. Vincent Millay's crisp, prim delivery of "I Shall For...

Mar 08 2016 | Read Full Review of Ascending Peculiarity: Edward...

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