Gothic culture

Born to Be Posthumous: The Eccentric Genius and Mysterious Life of Edward Gorey

Gorey, who died in 2000 at 75, was the unequaled master of—of what? Gothic whimsy? Camp macabre? Existential black comedy in the Firbankian mode? Essentially unclassifiable, he was, at the end of the day (and it’s always twilight, in Gorey’s stories), simply, inimitably Edwardian. His influence reverberates in the novels of Lemony Snicket and Ransom Riggs, the movies of Tim Burton and Guillermo Del Toro, the fashion of Anna Sui and Kambriel, the graphic novels of Alison Bechdel, Sue Grafton’s bestselling “Alphabet Series” of mystery novels (inspired by Gorey’s Gashlycrumb Tinies), the annual Edwardian Ball (an exercise in steampunk-goth cosplay inspired in part by Gorey’s work), and the fantasy lives of numberless fans who would live, if they could, in his obsessively crosshatched, amusingly lugubrious little worlds.