Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Unknown Vegetable

Edward Gorey published The Unknown Vegetable in 1995 using his Fantod Press imprint. The signed, limited edition printing of 526 copies consists of 500 numbered copies and 26 lettered (A to Z) books. I have copies #13/500 and Q/26. As with most of the Fantod Press books, the books are stapled in stiff colored wrappers - this book has a light gray cover. This title is included in Amphigorey Again.

Mr. Gorey always had a knack for coming up with interesting names for his characters. The heroine of this title has been christened Filda, one of my favorite Gorey names. As often happens in these tales, Filda's comes to a sticky end after she encounters a giant root vegetable.

The drawings for this title are nicely executed. It is interesting to note that the buildings in the background change in each outdoor picture, even though Filda stays in one place. In other books, Mr. Gorey would have obsessively drawn the background buildings to be exactly the same from one picture to the next. This shifting background gives the reader a subliminal sense of unease, like spooky music playing in the background - even though I surmise that Mr. Gorey did not do this on purpose.

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