Monday, April 27, 2015

On slow days I think of Neville

Some have called Edward Gorey’s work haunted and surreal. Some have called Edward Gorey’s work offbeat and droll. Some have called Edward Gorey’s work deliciously creepy. Some have called Edward Gorey’s work eccentric and funny.

I’ll let you decide for yourself. The following is from Gorey’s 1963 book The Gashlycrumb Tinies, which also included the author’s own illustrations. I do not think he intended it to be read to or by children:

A is for Amy who fell down the stairs.
B is for Basil assaulted by bears.
C is for Clara who wasted away.
D is for Desmond thrown out of a sleigh.
E is for Ernest who choked on a peach.
F is for Fanny sucked dry by a leech.
G is for George smothered under a rug.
H is for Hector done in by a thug.
I is for Ida who drowned in a lake.
J is for James who took lye by mistake.
K is for Kate who was struck with an axe.
L is for Leo who swallowed some tacks.
M is for Maud who was swept out to sea.
N is for Neville who died of ennui.
O is for Olive run through with an awl.
P is for Prue trampled flat in a brawl.
Q is for Quentin who sank in a mire.
R is for Rhoda consumed by a fire.
S is for Susan who perished of fits.
T is for Titus who flew into bits.
U is for Una who slipped down a drain.
V is for Victor squashed under a train.
W is for Winnie embedded in ice.
X is for Xerxes devoured by mice.
Y is for Yorick whose head was knocked in.
Z is for Zillah who drank too much gin.

If you want to see the illustrations, click here.

Perhaps my next post will be more Pollyanna-ish.


  1. Thanks for introducing me to this. I love it.

  2. Reminds me of the recent books which apparently ARE for children - Lemony Snickett series - where nothing good happens and there is no happy ending.
    I prefer to be Pollyanna-ish and always hope for the best.
    Didn't care for it. Maybe he needed Vitamin D. (Maybe you do, too?)

  3. how about gorey pollyanna? about fictional critters?

    A is for Asta, of crosswording fame.
    B is for Benji; were those movies lame!
    C is for Charlie, the tuna with taste
    D is for Donald, a duck with no waist.
    E is for Ed, the old horse who could talk.
    F is for Flipper; why didn't he walk?