The three titles just published are presumably about some certain thing but are really always about something else. Consider “The Osbick Bird”: It’s a sweetly melancholy surrealist fable about Edwardian eccentric Emblus Fingby’s odd (but fond) friendship with the even odder bird of the title. Gorey, an only child and lifelong solitary, was famously an odd bird himself — tall, long-legged and gawky like the bird in the book, with the luxurious beard of a Victorian literatus and a sense of style that ran to fur coats and tennis shoes. Inevitably described as “flamboyant,” he was often suspected of being a closeted gay, but when pointedly asked if he was, replied, “I’m neither one thing nor the other particularly.” It’s hard not to read the story as a daydream, at once wistful and resigned, about What Might Have Been, had he had a partner.
more from Mark Dery at the LA Times here.