Friday, August 24, 2012

Edward Gorey House visit: Part 2

Kitchen fireplace, with framed Figbash puppet

Edward Gorey's kitchen was filled with character. Here we see his fireplace mantle. Note the cat food bowls on the hearth, and the cat on the mantle. Cat imagery was EVERYWHERE (Gorey adored cats and always had "about 5 or 6 at a time"), but alas, the latest Gorey House live cat had just passed away two weeks before my visit. (That cat was not one of Gorey's, but an adoptee and fixture in the house.)

Gorey often made his own puppets, usually stuffed with rice. The framed puppet on the mantle is Figbash, a character created for his book "The Raging Tide." I believe this is the first, original Figbash doll, but I could be wrong... I was in another room when the tour guide explained that, and I was only half-listening.

There's also a nice fat cat on the mantle, and a couple of dogs, and of course an axe... reference to his Gashleycrumb Tinies book? "K is for Kate who was struck with an axe." Now, can you guess my favorite thing about the mantle? Look at the braces holding it up. They're carved bats!!

The last waffle of the millennium is a dancing girl

The last waffle of the millennium? And it's a dancing girl? I missed the story of this in the tour. I guess I was wandering at that stage. This is one bit I wish I'd heard more about. Wow. I do know it's from the restaurant where Gorey ate two meals a day, nearly every day... you can also see the framed waffle itself.

A month of receipts from Gorey's favorite restaurant

Speaking of that restaurant... here's a month of receipts from it. It's fascinating to see what he ate. He ate at this place twice a day nearly every day, and it was a quirky local place where diners filled out their own order slips, bussed their own tables, and had their own mugs hanging on hooks in the place. So these were his orders, in his own handwriting. I saw a lot of eggs and tuna melts.

Mystery man

If you're a Gorey fan, you probably know that he drew/animated the intro theme for the PBS show "Mystery!" I remember seeing that in my early childhood, and being utterly enchanted... perhaps that's one of the early seeds of my Gorey obsessions. The back room was filled with Mystery memorabilia, and there is a TV in the corner that loops the intro constantly. I don't recall if this reading man with cat figured into the Mystery intro, but I love the artwork.

Stamp and scribble table

Sorry this photo is a touch blurry, but I just had to throw it on the blog for its Gorey charm. This kid-sized table and chairs, with a bunch of Gorey stamps and crayons and paper, is in a corner of the Mystery room. I asked about the stamps in the gift shop, but alas - they're discontinued and the store had none to sell! In typical Gorey style, even though this looks like a kids area, there is a delightfully disturbing quote from The Doubtful Guest posted on the wall above the characters (from that scene of The Doubtful Guest) that reads:

"It joined them at breakfast and presently ate
All the syrup and toast, and a part of a plate."

Thus concludes Part 2. Stay tuned for Part 3, where you'll see photos of Gorey's cat-scratched couch, and photos of me posing with The Doubtful Guest (tee hee).