38. Edward Gorey. Excerpt from "15 Two / The Nursery Frieze."
New York: The Fantod Press, 1964. First edition.
Rare Book Collection.

Edward Gorey. Further excerpts from "The Nursery Frieze," 1964.
Published here in: Edward Gorey. Amphigorey Too. New York: Putnam's Sons, 1975. First edition.
Private collection of Daniel W. Koster. (Physical exhibit displays facsimile.)

Edward Gorey's Nursery Frieze takes the form of just that: if the pages were cut out of their binding and taped end to end, they would form a thin strip of wallpaper long enough to circle the walls beneath the ceiling of a room, ostensibly a nursery. The twist is that the words depicted in the frieze are as far from the typical ABCs as possible; they are rare and unusual words, chosen equally for their rarity as for the delicious way in which they roll off the tongue. By putting the words in speech bubbles, Gorey encourages the reader to pronounce the words aloud or silently too themselves, savoring their strange syllables. Seen another way, however, the assembled frieze bears obvious resemblance to the motion-photography studies of Eadweard Muybridge. Viewed as such, it becomes apparent that this is not a series of hippopotamus-like creatures serenely marching in a line, but rather one creature galloping in an endless loop, gasping out a word in each "frame" of the motion picture. One can only imagine the effect(s) this frieze might have on a child who grew up staring at it from their crib.

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