⚡️⚡️⚡️ Four interviews with the American writer & illustrator Edward Gorey.
– Part 1 –
Gorey: Well I think that is, for the… I would say off hand that was fatal for an actor to have an image of themselves
I: You mean to be attached to any…
Gorey: Or something I mean, you know, I don’t do this kind of thing, or this beneath me or… I mean I can say… I mean I can say this show is right for me, but not being… not… not because… not as a blancked thing… or… I don’t know, or anything that was even very obvious necessarily. I mean what kind of… two shows that seem very much alike one might be good for you and one might not. that’s like illustrating a book, some books I can illustrate some I can’t, and only I know for sure.
I: Project by project bases…
Gorey: Yes. Not that I haven’t illustrated a lot of books I was no good for, but, only I realized it, or at least as far as I know
I: What would those be?
Gorey: Well… oh I can think of… oh I have done more awful work that you believe humanly possible. I don’t like to think about it. I like to take the positive attitude and open up my little portfolio ‘oh isn’t that nice!’ khhhh… anyhow…
– Part 2 –
Gorey: Have you ever seen ‘Suture’? Well, it was made… it appeared on Sunday.. and so… I think at 1994, and it was made by two man’s names I presume they were young, and I’ve never heard a word about them since, and anyway… It is, absolutely the most deadpan movie I have ever seen. It starts out with a man driving to the airport in some place like Salt Lake City or Sante fe or somewhere or other. and, hmm, he picks up his brother at the airport, and you discover that he is going… he hasn’t seen his brother in a few years, but he has asked his brother to come and testify because he is being sued by somebody about something or other. They go back to his house, which is very obviously, hmm, a car dealership building. It is surrounded by concrete parking lots, and the building itself is kind of… you know… western modern. The living room is this huge open floor, obviously where the cars were displayed. And there is a stairway going up the side and there’s where the bedrooms are and everything. And, anyway, as the two brothers are driving back from the airport, they are talking about their past, and “Remember who nobody could tell us apart?” “Remember that trick we played on so and so?”. And so one of them is black and one is white. This is never mentioned in the movie. Never. And all through the movie, people confuse them. And at the very end, the white brother girlfriend goes off with the black brother.
I: By accident?
Gorey: Well.. You would… This is… It is never, never, I mean obviously they were sitting around one night and said wouldn’t it be great to do a movie about.. I’m not even sure… I’m not sure that they referred to as twins but they practically are… I mean… virtually they most be identical twins or people wouldn’t be mistaken them for each other all the time obviously! And they thought “this is a great idea for a movie!” and they went… they went ahead and did it. And it’s got quite a good plot, I mean it’s kind of involve… there is… hmm… and… one or two people you’ve seen before but everybody else which you’ve never seen at all. And it is just… you know I just set after it was over and I thought “I have never seen a movie like this. it’s really great!”.
– Part 3 –
Gorey: Well, I think I’ve been influenced a lot by things like… Well you know Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear, The whole tradition of English nonsense first and stuff. There are a couple of people from the late 19 century who sort of do long, well much longer poems but in… not very clever rhyme schemes, and, you know sort of narrative things… No, of course, I suppose it goes back to Thomas Hood, Who wrote some very strange, you know some really quite violent, not necessarily for children, but I think they… haaa… I’m not sure if they appeared in ‘Punch’ or not…But I think, you know it was a whole thing I don’t know where you can find the actual first, first person who ever did this, but I suspect it goes back even further than we think. But I mean like like Lear you know was a great friend of Tennyson or something, and some of his stuff very sounds like Tennyson, you know, going slightly askew… Of course, some Tennyson sounds like Tennyson going slightly askew… whatever. Anyway.
– Part 4 –
Marion Vuilleumier: Since we’ve talked briefly about the children’s books, and I like to mention two. This one: ‘The Loathsome Couple’ what’s the Loathsome Couple doing?
Gorey: Laughing. well I… I’m starting from this one-off.
Vuilleumier: Well I tell you…
Gorey: This is by far my most unpleasant book, and I…
Vuilleumier: Oh, oh well, alright. We won’t talk about ‘The Loathsome Couple’ we’ll talk about another one. Haaa… in fact here is another one over here that is kind of interesting. ‘The Utter Zoo Alphabet’. So tell me about that one.
Gorey: Well that was one that was more or less as much intended for children as it was for adults, but, but probably by that time I was… am… the publisher… I think… who published this?
Vuilleumier: This one is…
Gorey: Oh it was…
Gorey: Which was sort of… it was the same editor I… I mean it was the, for my, editor who I had for years now was first there and they didn’t have children’s book department, as I remember or something, so… There again there was a question of you know, there was no…
Vuilleumier: Mmhm. But this reminds me kind of like an Edward Lear, because there is this the ‘Humglum’, and they… and the ‘Dawbis’, and you start to make up words, aaa… the ‘Epitwee`s’ and so on, and yet, they do look like ‘Epitwee`s’! now don’t you think those look like ‘Epitwee`s’ folks? I mean it is interesting how you take names and they seem to aaa.. to fit what you are talking about.
Gorey: Well it’s one of those things, that’s you know in a sense the hardest… some… one of the hardest parts, sort of, writing a suitable name, because…
Vuilleumier: Yes. I suppose. Yes. Ah, I…