Edward St. John Gorey was an American writer and artist noted for his illustrated booksHis characteristic pen-and-ink drawings often depict vaguely unsettling narrative scenes in Victorian and Edwardian settings.
Gorey is typically described as an illustrator. His books may be found in the humor and cartoon sections of major bookstores, but books such as The Object Lesson have earned serious critical respect as works of surrealist art. His experimentations – creating books that were wordless, books that were literally matchbox-sized, pop-up books, books entirely populated by inanimate objects – complicates matters still further. As Gorey told Richard Dyer of The Boston Globe, “Ideally, if anything were any good, it would be indescribable.” Gorey classified his own work as literary nonsense, the genre made most famous by Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear.
In response to being called gothic, he stated, “If you’re doing nonsense it has to be rather awful, because there’d be no point. I’m trying to think if there’s sunny nonsense. Sunny, funny nonsense for children – oh, how boring, boring, boring. As Schubert said, there is no happy music. And that’s true, there really isn’t. And there’s probably no happy nonsense, either.”
A rare interview he did for a documentary based on his life and work.