TABLE OF CONTENTS

books

Charlie Fox

“What manner of man is this?” Jonathan Harker wonders when he sees Dracula creeping down his castle’s ramparts in the moonlight. Asking this question of the writer and illustrator who transformed precocious little oddballs into goths long before Jack Skellington or Marilyn Manson descended on suburbia, Mark Dery pens an eerie portrait of the artist, Born to Be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey (Little, Brown and Company), in which answers only conjure extra lashings of ambiguity—a very Gorey trick.

Was homosexuality the antic bat in Gorey’s belfry? “Everything I do, in a way, is parody,” he said, but does that include his life, too, for which he adopted a fur coat and sneakers as a permanent Halloween costume? (Yikes, perhaps all his work was parody, drawn from a singular mix of Victoriana, horror movies, and Japanese poetry, but of a kind

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW at the special holiday rate of $45 a year—70% off the newsstand price. You’ll receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the December 2018 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.