Friday, April 10, 2009

Three Books from Fantod Press III

Edward Gorey's third installment of Three Books from the Fantod Press, was issued in 1971 as an edition of 500 unnumbered/unsigned sets of three titles in a tan printed envelope (pictured). My set of books are all signed by Edward Gorey. All three titles appear in Amphigorey Too. This set of books was also issued in a special mottled-grey slipcased edition of 26 signed/lettered copies. This special lettered edition is one of the rare Gorey items that I have never run across or even seen in my 30 years of collecting.

It has been often referenced that The Deranged Cousins was inspired by Edward Gorey's rambling walks with his cousins at their home on the Cape. I have always found this to be a delightful, albeit deadly, tale with beautifully executed illustrations. There is a feel of sea air and sunshine about the pieces that capture the setting perfectly.

The Eleventh Episode by Raddory Gewe (Edward Gorey anagram) reads like a chapter from a Saturday morning serial adventure. All sorts of unusual occurrences happen to our heroine simply because she leaves the house upon hearing a scream. She should have known better.

(The Untitled Book) by Edward Pig (a most unusual Gorey nom de plume) is probably Edward Gorey's most perfect book. This title combines all the elements that interested and excited Mr. Gorey - beautiful artwork, language, nonsense, and pure "absurdest art" sensibilities. The nonsense poetry of (The Untitled Book) is best appreciated when read aloud so you can revel in the sounds of the words. The drawings alone deserve a standing ovation. Each panel is rendered with infinite detail, yet all 16 drawings (covers included) show the exact same courtyard that was redrawn (with weather variations) for each illustration. This technical tour de force is the backdrop for the "drama" that takes place within the scenes. I always have Camille Saint Sans' Danse Macabre running through my head when I read this book, which makes me feel like I am "looking at music". If I could pick any single piece of art from any Gorey book to own, it would be "thoo.".


Goreyphile said...

This set is on my top five wishlist for 2009 2010, but there arent many signed copies out there. All Gorey Fantod sets are wonderful, but the 1st and this 3rd set are my favorites

ArtSparker said...

A friend of mine works at Mohonk Mountain House in upstate New York, which has several Gorey works hanging on its walls - he did the iinvitation for their mystery weekend for a number of years.

ampootozote said...

I have many of the announcement fliers for these weekends. They will appear in a later posting.