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EDWARD GOREY (1925-2000) "You've written me to no avail, Because I never read my mail." Postcard design created by Gorey for the purpose of replying to fan mail, 1979. Pen and ink with dashes of correction fluid on paper. 158x108 mm; 6 1/4x4 1/4 inches, on 11 1/2x7 1/4-inch sheet. Unsigned (as Gorey would sign his name across the diagonal band before sending), but measurement, trim marks, and dated "?ix.79 - I.c.79" inked in lower right corner.
Provenance: Archives of the printer, Oliphant Press.
Gorey was slightly reluctant about his popularity which was already growing steadily by the 1980s. To assuage his guilt at not being able to answer the growing influx of fan mail, he created this response postcard which he had printed, would hand sign within its fancy banner, and mail back to the sender. It contained his favorite tropes: a languid cat sitting upon a Japanese urn of letters overflowing onto a patterned carpet (both camouflaged by the elaborate wallpaper), and drapery with tassels. A voice bubble above the cat delivers the contrite-yet-candid message: "You've written me to no avail, Because I never read my mail."
As part of the Edward Gorey Documentary Project directed by Christopher Seufert, the artist himself was interviewed on the subject of fan mail. The audio from this interview was animated by Ben Wickey for the documentary: