Autodidact: self-taught


E. Gorey

by V. L. Craven

+ Amphigorey (1972)
The Unstrung Harp, The Listing Attic, The Doubtful Guest, The Object-Lesson, The Bug Book, The Fatal Lozenge, The Hapless Child, The Curious Sofa, The Willowdale Handcar, The Gashlycrumb Tinies, The Insect God, The West Wing, The Wuggly Ump, The Sinking Spell, and The Remembered Visit

+ Amphigorey Too
The Beastly Baby, The Nursery Frieze, The Pious Infant, The Evil Garden, The Inanimate Tragedy, The Gilded Bat, The Iron Tonic, The Osbick Bird, The Chinese Obelisks (bis), The Deranged Cousins, The Eleventh Episode, [The Untitled Book] , The Lavender Leotard, The Disrespectful Summons, The Abandoned Sock, The Lost Lions,
Story for Sara [by Alphonse Allais] , The Salt Herring [by Charles Cros] , Leaves from a Mislaid Album, and A Limerick

Amphigorey Also
The Utter Zoo, The Blue Aspic, The Epiplectic Bicycle, The Sopping Thursday, The Grand Passion, Les Passementeries Horribles, The Eclectic Abecedarium, L’Heure bleue, The Broken Spoke, The Awdrey-Gore Legacy, The Glorious Nosebleed, The Loathsome Couple, The Green Beads, Les Urnes Utiles, The Stupid Joke, The Prune People, and The Tuning Fork

[IP] Amphigorey Again (2006)
The Galoshes of Remorse, Signs of Spring, Seasonal Confusion, Random Walk, Category, The Other Statue, 10 Impossible Objects (abridged), The Universal Solvent (abridged), Scenes de Ballet, Verse Advice, The Deadly Blotter, Creativity, The Retrieved Locket, The Water Flowers, The Haunted Tea-Cosy, Christmas Wrap-Up, The Headless Bust, The Just Dessert, The Admonitory Hippopotamus, Neglected Murderesses, Tragedies Topiares, The Raging Tide, The Unknown Vegetable, Another Random Walk, Serious Life: A Cruise, Figbash Acrobate, La Malle Saignante, and The Izzard Book

+Dancing Cats
Three Books From The Fantod Press (2), Fantod Press, 1970
–Donald Has A Difficulty
The Dwindling Party, Random House, 1982
Gorey Stories, 1983
The Tunnel Calamity, Putnam’s Sons, 1984
The Prune People II, Albondocani Press, 1985
The Improvable Landscape, Albondocani Press, 1986
The Fraught Settee, Fantod Press, 1990
The Doleful Domesticity; Another Novel, Fantod Press, 1991

  • 10 Impossible Objects (Abridged–Amphigorey Again Version): Four panels. Escheresque designs/architecture. 20.10.12
  • The Blue Aspic: Two interconnected stories. An opera-lover, Jasper, and an opera singer Ortenzia Caviglia. Caviglia gets her big break when the lead dies after eating poisoned candied violets sent from an unknown admirer. Caviglia becomes a sensation and Jasper becomes obsessed–collecting her clippings and writing unanswered letters. Caviglia’s biggest rival is strangled with a scarf she wore in ‘Teodora’ (allusion to Isadora Duncan?). The story chronicles her rise to fame and his fall into destitution after losing his job from catching pneumonia from waiting in foul weather to buy a ticket to see her. He eventually kills the both of them saying ‘J’ai trouve Hortense!’ It’s up to the reader to decide if he sent the violets to the original opera singer or if he had anything to do with the death of Caviglia’s biggest rival. 26.10.12
  • Categorey: Fifty square panels of cats either enjoying the scenery or facing the camera, looking pleased with whatever is happening. Several feature ladders and wooden frames of rooms. Cats wear either stripy jumpers or scarves. Each panel has a number in it in English, Roman numerals, Arabic numerals or, occasionally, French. 10.10.12
  • Creativity: One page; four panels. Mirror images of elephants (8 total). Elephant on ground/as cloud shape. Elephant reflection on water/poster on wall. 04.11.12
  • The Deadly Blotter: Thoughtful alphabet XVII. Story of solving a murder in 1 or 2 words per panel. Words in alphabetical order. The drawings are much simpler than typical Gorey. End: Extenuating circumstances absolves culprit. 20.10.12
  • The Doubtful Guest: [nd]
  • The Epileptic Bicycle: Two children somewhat reminiscent of Wednesday and Pugsley Addams find a bicycle (or does it find them?) They hop on it and it takes them on an odd adventure that involves lightning and alligators. This is the first Gorey that made me chuckle rather than just smile. My absolute favourite. 26.10.12
  • The Galoshes of Remorse: One page. ‘Frivolity, at the edge of a Moral Swamp, hears Hymn Singing in the Distance and dons the Galoshes of Remorse. 10.10.12
  • The Gashlycrumb Tinies: [nd]
  • The Grand Passion: [Englished anonymously from the Conton dialect (1930) and illustrated by Edward Gorey] Kabukiesque snapshots of questions and statements. 26.10.12

  • Random Walk: One page, four panels. A young woman buys a ridiculous, ludicrously expensive high fashion outfit and it gets wet because she chooses not to take a cab. 10.10.12
  • The Retrieved Locket: Amelia Emily is an infant. Her parents have her name engraved on a locket and put their pictures in it. She vanishes from her cradle. No one can find her. A few months later, a man brings them a dog wearing the locket. They kept the dog, who had puppies.  Final panel: Their declining years were spent with Amelia Emily, the great great granddaughter of that dog. 04.11.12
  • Scenes de Ballet: ‘photos’ of specific (fictional) people in fantastic (fictional) ballets. 20.10.12
  • Seasonal Confusion: One page; four panels. After the clocks change a man is confused about it being early or late so he solves the problem by going back to bed.  10.10.12
  • The Secrets: The Other Statue: A garden party at a posh mansion hoes awry when the boy child’s twisby goes missing, as does a family heirloom of a wax elbow. A candle in a horsehoof is thrown from a limosene and a rogue wind sends a statue off a balcony, killing one of the hosts. (The governess stole the heirloom.) 20.10.12
  • Signs of Spring: One page, four panels depicting ‘signs of spring’ in various parts of NYC including. ‘Disappearance of all spring and summer garments from the stores’. 10.10.12
  • The Sopping Thursday: A man has lost his umbrella on a very rainy day. He goes in search of a new one–and cannot find one to his satisfaction–whilst his dog, Bruno, gores in search of his master’s umbrella. Interspersed are panels of people under umbrellas discussing the weather. The dog and all umbrellas are solid black whilst the rest of the panels are typically detailed. 20.10.12


  • The Universal Solvent (abridged–Amphigorey Again version): nine panels. Q.R.V. will fix what ails you and make you better in every way. (Commentary on the ridiculous, sweeping promises of adverts.) ‘O I would do strange things to you, if you would do them to me; I have on hand, you understand, just scads of Q.R.V.’ 20.10.12
  • The Utter Zoo: Alphabet. Imaginary creatures and their foibles in rhyming couplets. The Yawfle and the Zote are best. 26.12.12
  • Verse Advice: ‘Some things you ought, perhaps, to hear before you start the brand new year.’ Practical observations in rhyming couplets. ‘The helpful though for which you look is written somewhere in a book.’ ‘It’s well we cannot hear the screams we make in other people’s dreams.’ ‘A random thought, if said aloud, may soon attract a hostile crowd.’ 20.10.12
  • The Water Flowers: A woman becomes enthralled by a book during a snowstorm and by the time she finishes, the snow is too deep to go to the shops for ingredients for supper. The cupboard yields only soda crackers so she makes a white sauce from flour and water. One by one, the other members of the household come in and think the sauce is either too thick or too thin. In adding flour, then water, then flour, then water in an effort to appease everyone, they wind up with an absurd amount of white sauce. So, for a time, they had it with every meal, including breakfast. After the final serving is had on Christmas Eve, one of the members of the household dies and they have a Christmas trimmed with black decorations. 04.11.12


Inspired Character Names, Places & Things

Agnes Alice Popover
Edmund Gravel
Embley and Yewbert
the Fibleys
Marquess of Wherewithal
Victoria Scone

Backwater Hall, Mortshire
Lower Spigot
Nether Millstone
St Clot in the Maladroit Islands

Orphobismic lozenges

On a poster: Nihilobstant

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