Friday, March 12, 2010

Les Echanges Malandreux

1984 saw the publication of another interactive flip book by Edward Gorey. Les Echanges Malandreux was printed by the Commonwealth Press for publisher Metacom Press, Worchester, MA. Published in an edition of 500 numbered and 26 lettered (A to Z) signed copies. Like Mr. Gorey's other flip books, this hand sewn volume will probably not be republished.

LEM is something of a challenge to look at without damaging the book. The soft paper covers open to reveal the limitation and again to reveal the contents. Inside, there are four sewn gathers of folded pages containing 32 images and printed remarks. By flipping the upper and lower pages, the characters interact in unique ways. The problem is that the white content pages are fairly stiff and the binding is quite flexible, so it is easy to damage the binding of this book. It is a book where an extra pair of hands is useful when viewing the piece.

I am showing copies #175/500 and #T of 26. Below is the announcement card that was used to introduce this volume in advance of its publication.


pursuit agent said...

Even though these things might never be reprinted in their original form, I wish that at least the drawings would be reproduced somewhere else. I would totally pick up those calenders and date books if they had the rights to the rare art instead of the same Gashlycrumb Tinies over and over. Every time you post one of these rarities, it's like I'm seeing newly produced art years after his death...

ampootozote said...

The interactive formats on many of Mr. Gorey's books are difficult and costly to reprint. This is one of the reasons that some titles are more expensive than others because they remain scarce...sometimes prohibitively expensive for a collector/admirer to obtain. This is both the thrill and frustration of collecting.

The problem the estate of Mr. Gorey has is that they wish to stay true to the original intention of the publication when reprinting material. I too, get a little tired of The Tinies being the book du jour.

Currently, the best place to view unusual items (apart from my blog) is to visit the Edward Gorey House and see the exhibitions they produce which always include rare items.

RVH said...

Stgumbled across your site and I am enjoying the views of various Gorey works--I've been a fan of his since I first picked up Amphigorey way back when I was in college (too many years ago to admit to).

I notice you've got a large selection of the John Bellaires covers. Have you seen the covers that Mr. Gorey did for Marvin Kaye's various anthologies of horror stories? I have a couple myself in storage, but I feel sure you know of them.

ampootozote said...

I am glad you have found the blog and hope you are finding some fun tidbits of information that will further your enjoyment of Mr. Gorey's books.

I do have a few of the Marvin Kaye books and love the cover designs on them...So much to still photograph and chat about on here!!

Robin said...

I have a copy of LEM in front of me, but oddly, while it bears Mr. Gorey's signature in the same location as in the image on your page, there is no print number above it. Does this mean it is part of a reprinting?

ampootozote said...

This copy would be considered "OS" or "out of sequence". When Mr. Gorey sent the books to be bound, he would sometimes include a couple extra sets of sheets/covers in case the binders made a mistake and a copy got ruined. He was also protecting himself in case he made a mistake while signing the books.

With this book, the binding was somewhat complicated, so I am sure that he sent along a few extra printed copies.

When he signed/numbered/lettered the books he usually signed the extra copies with an "OS" to signify a copy outside the numbering/lettering system. He appears to have forgotten to do so with your copy.

In several instances, copies of Mr. Gorey's limited edition books have come on the market that were not numbered or signed at all.

Robin said...

Interesting. This is a copy that my parents had received, probably as a gift, possibly from Mr. Gorey himself but I can't be sure. Thanks for the info!