Monday, March 9, 2009

Fletcher and Zenobia

Fletcher and Zenobia was written by Victoria Chess and Edward Gorey, and published in 1967 by The Meredith Press in hard cover with a matching illustrated dust wrapper. The lively watercolor illustrations were created by Victoria Chess. Mr. Gorey seldom collaborated on a text with another author and it is very unusual to find a book with a Gorey text that is not also illustrated by EG himself.

The book begins with a cat named Fletcher who is stuck in a tree. He makes a friend of a doll named Zenobia, found in a steamer trunk that is also in the tree. Reading the text of this book, I can see some of EG's humor and choice of words, but to me the tone of the writing does not sound like a "Gorey Story". What tries to be absurdist feels a bit forced. Ms. Chess and Mr. Gorey collaborated on a companion volume, Fletcher and Zenobia Save the Circus. I do not have a copy of the second book.

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