Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Review: Born to Be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey

Born to Be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey Born to Be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey by Mark Dery
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I found the writing to be very unsatisfying. Dery sometimes sounds as though he is writing for a college newspaper. He refers to Gorey's art and writing as his "stuff." Dery spends more than half of the book quoting or using other sources, one wonders if he ever met Gorey.

And yes, he focuses far too much on whether Edward Gorey was gay. Gorey was always in the habit of deflecting the question when directly posed to him. Most likely he felt it was no one's business. And it wasn't. Or isn't. Gorey was multifaceted, idiosyncratic, eccentric, incredibly imaginative, and yes, most likely gay. Dery glosses over most of Gorey's personality but keeps reminding the reader, oh yes he's all of these things, but mostly he's gay.

I wanted to read this book because I admire Edward Gorey as a person and an artist. I took away a lot from this book, to be sure, but also became bored with Dery's flitting about and going off on tangents.

Maybe I should give some of the blame to Dery's editor...

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