Tuesday, July 28, 2009

L'Heure Bleue

Returning to the wonderful world of nonsense that, for me, best exemplifies the work of Edward Gorey, L'Huere Bleue is a real treat. In this title, two dogs dressed in letter sweaters banter back and forth, the exchanges soaring as lightly as a badminton birdie on each page. Some of the art in this book approaches "other worldly" in its design and execution. In one panel, the dogs float in front of a giant Japanese fan. In another, they are disporting themselves on what appears to be a sculpture by Joan Miro.

Published in 1975 by Mr. Gorey's own Fantod Press, this title is printed though out in blue and black and is limited to 500 numbered, signed copies in wrappers. This title appears in Amphigorey Also. I am showing copy #19/500.

There were 26 A-Z copies which had a special slipcase/blue cloth binding, no DJ. The colophon lists an addition two copies, lettered T:I & T:II which are slipcased and each includes an original drawing with additional remarks in Japanese. Edward Bradford's F is for Fantods bibliography of EG's Fantod Press books states that these two copies were never completed.

In addition to the standard limited edition, L' Heure Bleue was published in a separate limited edition of 38 numbered/signed copies in wrappers without the distinctive blue printing. I am showing copy #20/38. Mr. Gorey is said to have wanted to see the book without the addition of blue to the artwork.


jpcs said...

I was always intrigued by the fact that there were only 38 Black and white versions and 2 other copies that were to be specially prepared. Given that 40 seems a much more sensible number for a print run than 38, were the other two destined, as it turned out fruitlessly, to be T.I and T.II? And will we ever know for sure??!!

ampootozote said...

What you say makes perfect sense. I agree that 38 is an odd number, however it is my understanding that the TI & TII were to have been the hardbound/slipcased style.