The juxtaposition of crowded academic and social calendars at this time of year always makes me a bit grumpy. I try to contain (or hide) my scrooge-like sentiments, but I’m generally too tired to make that much of an effort, and consequently they pop out periodically. This year I am taking comfort in a book that I received from a thoughtful friend last year: The Twelve Terrors of Christmas, a 1993 collaboration between iconic illustrator Edward Gorey and John Updike. These terrors (a too heavily-laden Christmas tree, the threat of electrocution from all the electronic games under said tree, fears of not giving enough, not receiving enough, and returning all the stuff you did receive) are not quite my terrors (fatigue, rampant commercialism, over-consumption of food, drink, and stuff) but I like the overall sentiment, or lack thereof. And then there are the illustrations. “Christmas” and “Gorey” are not words that naturally go together, but he had tread that terrain previously–with a series of not-too-macabre Christmas cards for the Albondaconi Press and other publishers from the 1970s on–and the success of Terrors inspired a second holiday book: The Haunted Tea-Cosy. A Dispirited and Distasteful Diversion for Christmas Dispirited (1997), a parody of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. All very merry images, in that distinctly Gorey style.
Daily Archives: December 16, 2014
Streets of Salem:
Somewhat random but still timely posts about culture, history, and the material environment, from the perspectives of academia, Salem and beyond.
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Top Posts & Pages
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- Rose Reverie streetsofsalem.com/2019/06/23/ros… https://t.co/qHiJLUgw8O 15 hours ago
- RT @MassHumanED: Inclusive, airy and vibrant work, just like its subject. Congrats to our friends and neighbors @northamphistory on the ope… 16 hours ago
- RT @SmithsonianMag: Experts believe that the Bible was presented to Lincoln in 1864, one year before his death, when the president visited… 2 days ago
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