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
- 1937 #Massachusetts legislation establishing the @SalemMaritime National Historic Site in #SalemMA--for which I am… twitter.com/i/web/status/1… 10 hours ago
- RT @SalemMaritime: The Society for the Preservation of New England (@HistoricNE today) began restoring the Derby House in 1927. The house e… 1 day ago
- Grateful that @SalemMaritime is bringing #SalemMA into the national commemoration of #1619: facebook.com/events/3861700… 1 day ago
- 1857 petition of the Essex Institute of #SalemMA to the Massachusetts legislature, advocating for the preservation… twitter.com/i/web/status/1… 1 day ago
- So important to emphasize how difficult & expensive digitization is, and how few materials have been digitized: Her… twitter.com/i/web/status/1… 2 days ago
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