Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Illustrated Wednesday

Good evening, readers. As has been discussed before on this blog, literature isn't always about words. Sometimes it's about pictures. Sometimes, too, it's about girls deflowered by swans, but we'll leave that for some future mythical Monday.

Edward Gorey wrote and illustrated many a whimsically ominous book. Many of them were popular with children. A great deal of them were set or drawn in a decidedly Edwardian or Victorian style (I was never that good at telling the two styles apart). He was not, though, particularly fond of children. Nor was he particularly British, despite the fact that I thought he might be when first I saw his work. He actually came from Chicago. Reading bookslut, I came across scans from a Gorey book called, The Recently Deflowered Girl: The Right Thing To Say On Every Dubious Occasion. It's a parody of etiquette books and includes advice on such various and likely situations as deflowerment by proxy or deflowerment by a chinese detective. No word on what to do if an Australian illustrator takes your flower, though.

Speaking of Australian illustrators (by which I mean, of course, illustrators who live in Australia and not the sort of people who spend their time illustrating continents), there's an interview with Shaun Tan over at The Walrus. His 2007 book, The Arrival, won book of the year in Australia. In the same year, he also received the World Fantasy award for best artist. Tales from Outer Suburbia, his latest work due out in the States in February, is a collection of fifteen stories exploring the strange things that sometimes happen in our ordinary world, such as a little girl asking directions from a giant water buffalo.

Happy Wednesday.


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