|Untitled, no date. there's a lot going on in this picture ...|
Gorey would start with the words first, and the images would come later. He would sometimes use reams of paper to get the words just right, and the catalogue showcases examples of his variations on text and accompanying doodles for many of his books, including The Osbick Bird, which he called alternately a "woshbosh" "jub jub" "scramble" and "fibbul" bird before deciding on "osbick." Gorey adored wordplay and anagrams and even published some of his books using anagrams of his name: Ogdred Wery, Mrs. Regera Dowdy, and Wardore Edgy, to name a few.
Apart from describing Gorey's love of cats and his omnivorous interest in books and popular culture, there isn't too much in the accompanying essay about Gorey the man, or his daily life. He loved ballet with a passion and lived in Massachusetts. His love of Buster Keaton and silent films informs his enigmatic black and white drawings and his intertitle-like text. He may or may not have intended his work to be enjoyed by children. Perhaps appropriately, Gorey the person comes off as ambiguous and cryptic as his drawings.
|The man and (some of) his cats|
|"After it had passed, Lord Wherewithal was found crushed beneath a statue blown down from the parapet."|
The Secrets: Volume One, The Other Statue, 1968.