Tag Archives: Edward Gorey

The Twibbit on occasion knows a difficulty with its toes

Edward Gorey would have loved this dog.

Birds-eye view of Sudo the greyhound lying on the rug with a stuffed alligator between her front legs

Same pose, different angle

We often speculate which creature from The Utter Zoo Sudo most resembles. Lately the Twibbit seems to be winning, though sometimes she is the Mork (“The Mork proceeds with pensive grace / And no expression in its face”), sometimes the Limpflig (“The Limpflig finds it hard to keep / From spending all its life asleep”), and sometimes the Yawfle (“The Yawfle stares, and stares, and stares, / And stares, and stares, and stares, and stares”).

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, please avail yourself of the nearest copy of The Utter Zoo: An Alphabet by Edward Gorey. The Utter Zoo can also be found in the collection Amphigorey Also.

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Edward Gorey House

My friend Rachel happened to write a blog post/travel guide to Cape Cod just about a week before our annual visit. We don’t tend to do very much on the Cape, other than eat (mostly ice cream), sleep, walk, and swim, but as soon as I saw that the Edward Gorey House was only five minutes away from where we’d be, I was set on going. And it was delightfully odd.

I dragged half the family with me and we arrived just as a tour was starting. It was surprisingly well-attended by people of all ages; kids had received little paper handouts where they could check off sightings of the Gashlycrumb Tinies. Here are a few we noticed:

A doll placed head-down halfway down a staircase

“A” is for Amy who fell down the stairs…

Doll feet sticking out from under a leopard pattern rug

Doll on windowsill, head crushed by rectangular stone

 

The fireplace in one of the front rooms of the Edward Gorey House is designed to look like the fireplace in The Doubtful Guest. There are also cabinets and shelves full of things Gorey collected, from books to rings to other assorted oddities.

The fireplace in the Edward Gorey House

 

Old-fashioned telephone and typewriter

Large stuffed bear wearing a striped scarf

Old wooden chair with books on the seat. Sign reads "This Chair will NOT support you in any way"

In addition to writing and illustrating many of his own books, Gorey designed covers, illustrations, and endpapers for several other authors, including John Ciardi, Edward Lear, T.S. Eliot, H.G. Wells, and Henry James.

What Maisie Knew by Henry James cover design by Edward Gorey

“I hate Henry James more than anybody else in the world except for Picasso.”

I must find out the context for this quote.

 

Quoted text

“Life is intrinsically, well, boring and dangerous at the same time. At any given moment the floor may open up. Of course, it almost never does; that’s what makes it so boring.”

In the backyard of the house, there’s a taller-than-the-average-human metal sculpture of The Doubtful Guest, filled with ivy, complete with scarf and canvas shoes. (Also discovered via Rachel: “How to Tell if You’re in an Edward Gorey Book.” One indicator: “All your sneakers are high-tops. All your coats are fur.”)

Outdoor metal sculpture of The Doubtful Guest, filled with ivy, with red and white striped scarf and canvas shoes

The Edward Gorey House is definitely worth a visit if you happen to be in the area. Before we left, I bought a book of Gorey postcards, which I’ve been sending to friends and family. Let me know if you’d like one!

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