Friday, April 18, 2008

Where is Edward Gorey?

I'm a fairly organized bibliophagist. Most of the books in my library are shelved by catagory. Biography is on the north wall. Literature is on the south wall. Science, philosophy and history are on the island of bookcases in the middle of the room as are the science-fiction and fantasy paperbacks. But where is Edward Gorey?

I would like to reread Amphigorey and Amphigorey Too. But where could I have shelved them?

Religion is on the west wall. Books about art and the practical arts are on the east wall. So are the books about holidays, education, etiquette, and media -- as are my collections of humor, Victoriana, and the life and works of Dr. Samuel Johnson. That's also where you'll find a shelf of Very Tall Books such as The Lorsch Gospels and The Times Atlas of the World. But where is Edward Gorey?

I know where he used to be in my old house -- upstairs on the narrow metal bookcase with other tall, illustrated books. But all the rickety metal bookcases were left behind when I moved. Where is poor Edward Gorey now?

Foreign language, the English language, reference books and books about literature are in the living room. But not Edward Gorey. He's not on the Tolkien & Lewis shelf. He's not among the housekeeping books. He's not in the kitchen with the cookbooks. And he's certainly not on the low birch bookcase in the dining room where I keep tiny books like the Loeb Library and the Oxford World Classics.

He's not upstairs with my Catholic fiction and my Victorian kid lit. He's not down in the Library Annex where I keep the children's books, the quilting books, the encyclopediae, the hardcover science fiction and the overflow hardcover science. And he's not on the hand finished alder bookcase which houses the tall, pretty books (mostly art and astronomy) along with my husband's collection of books about Oxford and the works of Patrick O'Brien.

Where, oh where is Edward Gorey?

I feel like a frustrated dragon searching through my hoard for a misplaced bit of treasure.

Well, it must be somewhere. In the meantime, I will have to settle for this charming take-off: The Trouble With Tribbles as if written by Edward Gorey.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Shakespearean Baseball

It's so easy to assume that a person who shares one of your passionate interests also shares your other likes and dislikes. I try to keep in mind that this is not so. Nevertheless, I'm still floored each time I discover that an online quilting friend, for instance, is also an avid fisherman. I am less surprised when my bookish friends do not share my tastes in literature.

I can accept the fact that some of my fellow Tolkien fans do not also share my love of Anthony Trollope. Or that I will probably never share the intense love that my daughter has for T.S. Eliot, though our reading tastes are otherwise similar. And I can also appreciate the zest with which some of my biblio-friends approach fields which have little appeal to me such as statistics, or mathematics, or political science. But I was totally flabbergasted when I discovered that an old bookish friend, now living in another part of the country, had become an avid baseball fan when my back was turned. Baseball?

I don't actually hate sports -- as long as I don't have to play them or watch them. Or hear them. My brother, an otherwise sane bibilophagist, is a rabid sports fan. He had sports broadcasts playing All Day Long when we were teens, and it drove me up the wall. Though I was not yet sure whether I had a vocation to the married state, I was certain that I would never, ever even remotely consider marrying a man who who displayed any interest in sports whatsoever. Even now, the sound of sports on radio or TV causes me to twitch a little. But perhaps if those broadcasts had been a little more literary, things might have been different.