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Those letters, published here for the first time, are remarkable for their quantity and their content. While the creative collaborations of Gorey and Neumeyer centered on children’s books, they held wide-ranging interests; both were erudite, voracious readers, and they sent each other many volumes. Through their discussions of these books, one marvels at the beauty of thoughtful (and merry) discourse driven by intellectual curiosity.
The letters also paint an intimate portrait of Edward Gorey, a man often mischaracterized as macabre or even ghoulish. His gentleness, humility, and brilliance—interwoven with his distinctive humor—shine in each letter; his deft artistic hand is evident on the decorated envelopes addressed to Neumeyer, thirty-eight of which are reproduced here.
During the time of their correspondence, Peter Neumeyer was an assistant professor at Harvard University and then a professor at Stony Brook University in New York. His acumen and compassion, expressed in his discerning, often provocative missives, reveal him to be an ideal creative and intellectual ally for Gorey.
More than anything else, Floating Worlds is the moving memoir of an extraordinary friendship. Gorey wrote that he felt that they were “part of the same family, and I don’t mean just metaphorically. I guess that even more than I think of you as a friend, I think of you as my brother.” Neumeyer stated, “Your letters . . . your existence has made something of this world that [it] hadn’t the possibility of before.”
About Peter F. NeumeyerSee more books from this Author
I’ve gushed on here before about the amazing work of Edward Gorey, but one thing that is hard to come by is autobiographical texts about the enigmatic man...to get Gorey to talk about himself, what he thought about, what he felt at any given time was not a easy task.Read Full Review of Floating Worlds: The Letters ... | See more reviews from Blog Critics
"Floating Worlds" offers special insight into his books' complexities and allusions. No Gorey fan will be able to resist this collection, but it's difficult to imagine that anyone would be immune to its verbal charms. If nothing else, it provides a great reading list.Read Full Review of Floating Worlds: The Letters ... | See more reviews from WSJ online
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