Edward Gorey was a man of contradictions. He inspired marginalized groups with his illustrations and words. Yet, for all his dark humor, Gorey’s quirks were simultaneously normal and baffling.
E is for Edward whose heart gave away. That’s Edward Gorey we’re talking about. The American writer and illustrator would have turned 88 today. Google is honoring Mr. Gorey with a doodle featuring the writer and some of his famed artworks.
Gorey’s first book, The Unstrung Harp, was published in 1953. The novel, like the near 70 books that followed, is dark and funny, with a side of morbid whimsy.
For an artist, he claimed to have very little training. Gorey studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1943 but left after one semester. Nevertheless, he proved to be a talented artist in his own right. Gorey’s ink drawings and all their intricacies would go on to influence artists, musicians, and even subcultures.
One subculture that particularly admires Gorey’s work is the gothic community. Goths have a distaste for society's mainstream culture, often opting for what others view as peculiar and underground. Gorey’s surrealist art and ghoulish stories sparked the interests of goths.