Monday, August 10, 2009

The Broken Spoke

Published by Dodd, Mead & Co. in 1976 in illustrated boards with a matching dust wrapper, The Broken Spoke is a full color extravaganza of humorous postcards which all relate to bicycling. The original printing has no statement of first edition on the copyright page, but later printings are marked. This title appears in full color in Amphigorey Also. A number of the images/postcards first appeared in Sports Illustrated Magazine in June 1976.

A signed/numbered limited edition of 250 copies of this title was produced. There were also 26 A to Z lettered copies made. All the limited edition copies are housed in custom made brown slipcases. I am showing limited edition copy # 72/250. My regular first edition of this title (pictured at the top of the posting) is signed and inscribed to me by Edward Gorey on the title page and was exhibited at the Minneapolis Institute of Art in "Gorey Stories, Books and Drawings by Edward Gorey" from October 26, 1984 through March 17, 1985.

The publication announcement card for this title features one of the postcards included in the book. The front and back of the announcement card are shown here.

In The Broken Spoke, Edward Gorey plays with many different drawing and painting styles. There is "classic Gorey", Oriental, Colonial, cave painting, Medieval, Italian, and even a German Expressionist card. Clearly, he was working to make the book look like someone's collection of postcards that had been collected from different parts of the world over a long period of time .

1 comment:

Bloglion said...

The limited edition of this is the most recent Gorey book I've acquired and one of my favorites. I'm always fascinated at how he manages to keep the reader interested despite the absence of an actual story line. Sure, it's a testament to the quality of his art, but I like to think that it also has something to do with how he chooses his subject matter. He manages to avoid cliched subjects (like, maybe houses or cars) and chooses bicycles, topiaries, tassels, bolsters and other objects; all of them becoming intrinsically more interesting through his style.