Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Gorey Celebration!

Okay, I have a special soft spot for Edward Gorey's birthday (February 22, 1925 – April 15, 2000) because February 22 also happens to be my son's birthday, although, I'm having trouble believing that my "baby" turns 17 today.

It's kind of a no-brainer that I'd love Edward Gorey's wonderfully macabre illustrations, especially his Dracula artwork, but I'm also quite charmed by the quirky eccentricities of the artist himself. Apparently he was a ballet, literature, and film devotee, but what I find particularly endearing about him was his love of cats (I guess he'd be called a "Crazy Cat Gentleman"), and dark genre television. I've read that he was a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Batman: The Animated Series, and The X-Files and I can't help getting a kick out of knowing that he watched the same sort of TV shows that I do.


As I'm a maker of dolls, another little fact that I find fabulous about Edward Gorey is that he made stuffed cloth creations too. By all accounts, he drafted his own patterns and then sewed and stuffed the dolls while watching (dark genre) TV in the evenings. Definitely worthy of a wee squeal of delight! ;)

The photos of Edward Gorey's fantastical creatures are via Goreyana blog, where you can read lots more about the handmade dolls and the man himself.

It would seem that lots of awesome boys were born on February 22 because it's also actor Dwight Frye's birthday (February 22, 1899 – November 7, 1943). Dwight Frye made appearances in a number of classic horror films, but it's his performance as Renfield in Dracula (1931), starring Bela Lugosi, that is the standout for me. The scene where Renfield creeps across the floor towards an unconscious woman is, in my opinion, the most chilling moment in the entire movie.

Happy Birthday, Edward, Dwight, and of course, my James! ❤



40 comments:

  1. Haha, there's nothing quite like kids to remind people of how much older they are. Although pets do the same thing. Zebra, my cat, has been in the family ever since I was born (and she's still kicking).

    Edward Gorey is such an awesome artist! I love seeing his work!

    He was interested in ballet? strange! haha!
    I wonder what he'd think of Fringe.

    So he was a cat person. It figures, given that cats are much more fitting in ooky artwork/stories, than, say, dogs-"And there upon the corpse was an adorable Saint Bernard!"... (By the way, I'd like to say I'm a dog person, but as of typing this, there's a cat on the computer desk, and another right beneath my seat!)

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    1. Yeah, seeing kids grow up really makes you aware of how quickly time passes. *gulp*

      Apparently Edward Gorey would attend all performances by the New York City Ballet. I love all his eccentricities. They're very Addams-worthy! I think he would have enjoyed 'Fringe'. I loved that show, and talking of eccentrics, you couldn't get much kookier than Walter. :D

      Haha. Yes, cats have a whole different vibe going for them than dogs. Dogwoman doesn't have quite the same ring to it as Catwoman, does it?! ;D

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  2. What an absolutely delightful post Emma! A very happy birthday to James! 17 is such a wonderful age...
    Squeal of delight indeed! I've always loved the books and cats quote of Edward Gorey. And of course, his art is just sublime. Have a lovely Saturday. ~Siobhan xo

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    1. Thank you, Siobhan! :) Yes, the books and cats quote totally resonates with me too. Life's simple pleasures. *happy sigh* xo

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  3. I adore Edward Gorey's work but didn't know he created stuffed creatures.
    That is definitely worthy of a squeal! Loving that picture of him with his cats too :)

    I wish your son the happiest of birthdays, how quickly they grow up, but I know he'll still be your baby, no matter how tall he gets ;)

    Have a wonderful day :)

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    1. I particularly love the cat draped around Edward's neck, Yvonne! Soooooo adorable!

      Yes, James will always be my baby... and he's been taller than me since he was about 11. I'm a shortie and he's just over 6 foot (and still growing). He's my giant baby! ;D

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  4. I have a feeling I am going to need more books come spring. And cats. I'm gonna need more cats.

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    1. I wish books and cats could solve your current awful situation, Ms Misantropia, but hopefully they can ease your pain a little. ❤

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  5. Happy Birthday to Edward Gorey, your dear son and to Dwight Frye! Edward Gorey was one of my favorite writers/artists and I find it so charming that he wrote such delightfully macabre books, but was obviously a bit of softie at heart!! I also read that he had a teddy bear collection and I have a picture of him on my Pinterest board that is devoted to him with a bear nearly as big as himself! If you haven't read it, I highly recommend to you a book called Ascending Peculiarity. In it are several interviews he gave throughout the years and from them, you get just a few more glimpses of him.

    Thank you for this great post today!

    Betty

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    1. Thank you so much, Betty! :) I know the teddy picture you're referring to and it's delightful! I haven't read 'Ascending Peculiarity' (love the title), so I'll definitely keep an eye out for that. I've seen some interviews with Edward Gorey on YouTube, and they were fascinating.

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  6. It seems that Mr. Gorey was indeed a most interesting and talented person. I might note here that my country's first president, George Washington, was also born on February 22.

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    1. I forgot about George Washington, Nightwind! You're quite right, he was another awesome boy born on February 22, and considering the way the 'Sleepy Hollow' television series has woven George Washington into their dark, supernatural mythology, he actually complements Edward Gorey and Dwight Frye astonishingly well now.

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  7. Happy Birthday to all and I didn't know Gorey made dolls! Must go see!

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    1. Yep, the quirky goodness just keeps coming with Edward Gorey! The idea of him sewing dolls in front of the telly is just too adorable for words, Rhissanna! :D

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  8. Your son is 17? You must've been 12 when you had him, right? Happy birthday to him and to Mr. Gorey, who took the dubious blessing of an odd name and turned it into a lifetime of delighting in creepy things. I love his cloth dolls! :)

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    1. Yes, yes indeedy, Lexa! I was 12 when I had my son. Let's go with that. ;D

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  9. Happy birthday to your James! I shall celebrate by reading my very tiny Gorey collection before bed. ;-D

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    1. Thanks, Magaly! I think reading a little Gorey before bed is an excellent way to celebrate! :)

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  10. Happy birthday, James! They grow up so soon ... **sniff**

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    1. Thank you, Insomniac's Attic! And yes, they grow up way too quickly. *sniff, sniff*

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  11. Happy birthday to your son, and to these other great people! I love the information about the dolls! Very cool!

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    1. Thanks, Magic Love Crow! The Goreyana blog is chock-full of cool information about Edward Gorey. :)

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  12. Oh you were kindred spirits! I loved to watch x-files on tv as well. During that time I was studying chemistry and biochemistry. We always had a discussion at school in a very scientific level about the latest episode were possible or not. :)

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    1. Oh, I never missed a single episode of 'The X-Files', linnea-maria! I think the success of that show is the reason we actually have so many dark genre series on television now. 'The X-Files' was such a trailblazer!

      That's so cool that you were able to discuss the scientific possibility of the various ideas raised on the show. That must have made school fun!

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  13. I tried to answer you and your lovely comment to Celebrate Oz on your comment but I had some difficulties and so I should like to say here.....of course we'd love to have you come join the rowdy crowd that will be Celebrating Oz - Hues of Oz. How delightful that you're coming to play......Welcome.

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    1. Thank you so much, Linda! :) I'm really looking forward to it. After all... I am from the land of Oz, so how could I resist. ;)

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  14. Nothing is more true! Books. Cats. Life is good!

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  15. An interesting post that I enjoyed reading.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

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  16. Edward sounds like an interesting guy.

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    1. Yes, very interesting, Lady Lilith. Such an eccentric! :)

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  17. Aw! Love Gorey. Everything he did was so stylish and particular to him.

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    1. Yes, he was definitely one of a kind, Elizabeth! I wish he was still around. I'd love to see more interviews with him. :)

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  18. Love the info download on awesome facts I never knew (he did dolls too?) & happy HAPPY Birthday to your baby James :) my baby turned 17 on Boxing Day & may other baby is 19 & I'm about to drive her to BrisVegas with groceries, clothing, books & computer etc etc, to start Year 2 at Uni (archeology & art history)... our babys grow up so fast!!!!

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    1. Thank you, Sunshineshelle! :) I'm gradually packing up my home for a move soon and I've been coming across lots of photos of James as a baby. *sniff, sniff* It truly seems like just yesterday! He's growing up into a wonderful, young man though. :)

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  19. Neat! Didn't know he created dolls too:)
    Happy belated birthday to your baby!

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  20. Ahh Mr. Gorey! I almost won Dracula A Toy Theatre on eBay the other day and I'm kicking myself that I didn't! I must get one someday, just to have a little photo shoot with the characters and props! That is unbelievably awesome that he enjoyed watching Buffy! :D

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    1. I've got the 'Dracula' Toy Theatre, Sandy, and it's utterly gorgeous! I hope you manage to get hold of one because I know you'd love it. I haven't had a chance to build mine yet, but when I do, it will be the dollhouse I always dreamed of but never had! ;)

      I adore that he watched 'Buffy'! :D

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