Sunday, February 26, 2012

N is for Newsletter

One of the more difficult to obtain Edward Gorey collectibles is N is for Newsletter, a privately published newsletter "about alphabet books and alphabet memorabilia for collectors and dealers". Published in New York from June 1993 through December 1993 (the final issue was not sent out until April 1994), this short lived newsletter contains three original alphabets by Edward Gorey, two of which have not been published anywhere else. The first issue has an interview with Mr. Gorey by co-publisher Gretchen Adkins on the front page. Including the interview, Mr. Gorey appears in four of the six issues. The newsletter has advertising from several well known book dealers, but was not widely circulated.

When contacted by Ms. Adkins, Mr. Gorey was gracious and generous, offering two previously unpublished (and unillustrated) alphabets for publication: The Yellow Thingummy(in issue #4), The Uncaught Window: A scrambled alphabet in a single sentence (in issue #5). A third, previously published alphabet, The Arsenical Bun appears in issue #6, which is the final issue of the newletter. Illustrating this alphabet are three tiny skeletons by Mr. Gorey.

The Arsenical Bun was first published in Murder Ink: Revived, Revised, Still Unrepentant Perpetrated by Dylis Winn (1984 Workman Publishing, 2nd paperback edition), but does not appear in the 1977 first hardcover edition. This alphabet also was performed/sung as the closing number of Tinned Lettuce: or, The New Musical in April 1985 at NYU. It was not included in the program when the show was revived as Amphigorey in 1992/1994.

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