Because Gorey’s audience will always be small (most of his books have been limited to a few hundred copies) there is the danger that this limitation can be self-imposed. His early works are already relatively scarce, and there is the temptation to cater to the expensive limited edition which his growing body of collectors might support. So far this has not happened, and the scarcity of even his more recent albums, despite the smallness of his coterie, may be due to the difficulty of classifying his work which makes distribution difficult. A number of his albums are published under his own imprint, The Fantod Press, due no doubt to this very problem of how his work is to be categorized. In addition about a dozen regular publishers have handled his work and this dispersal does not help to keep his work in print.
Although these stories frequently and wittily show children or other hapless victims coming to undeserved death, Gorey insisted there was no morbid relish involved. “I see no disparity between my books and everyday life… I write about everyday life.” The everyday life of Gorey’s art tends to happen in a pastiched late-Victorian or Edwardian England, coloured by the favourite reading matter of his college days (notably Ronald Firbank, Evelyn Waugh and Ivy Compton-Burnett) and a lifelong fondness for Agatha Christie.
They suggest in their subject the style and characteristics of the reader best equipped to understand and respond to them
Perry nodelman . nodelman p and reamer, m 2003. The pleasues of childrens literature, boston, pearson education,ltd.
‘the actual reader of a text(..~) can choose to read (..)even though they may have very different abilities and sensibilities.
Lesnik- oberstein2003.childrens literature new approaches,Hampshire,palgrave macmillan.
Childrens books are read by adults and children, so the books do have one audience. As texts with dual (or multiple ) audiences, childrens stories hold morethan one meaning.
jill may cited by nodelman.
Can it be that by making a work that has an implied audience of a very young age but really targets a much older audience allows that audience to assume the role of a younger person thereby gaining enjoyment from humour or content that is normally unaccessible.
‘it is the adult reader who wil understand the intention and sophistication (…;)the young child will simply enjoy it, the older child will question it. Pg104
, transcending boundaries writing for a dual audience of Children and adults./ Carole scott
It is in fact readily available to anyone who owns an OED that it is from Carroll’s Jabberwocky that we receive teh words galumph and chortle, without which a few of teh comic novels of P.G.Wodehouse and kingsley Amis, some episodes of Monty Python, not to mention large portions of my own comic imaginings, would be seriously impoverished pg x11
And maybe it was Carroll, too, who firmly established the fish as the English comic animal of choice. Pg x111
Introduction by zadie Smith, Through the Looking glass, Lewis Carroll illustrated by mervyn peake.
Many picture books are clearly designed for both small children and sophisticated adults, communicating to the dual audience at a variety of levels.
Adults are thoroughly steeped in the conventions of the book and are practiced at decoding text in a traditional manner, following the expected temporal unfolding of events and scanning from left to right. But Thompsons intricate iconotexts, with illustrations comprising multitude of miniscenes and tangential pictorial events are ideally suited to the childs less practiced but perceptive eye. Pg 22,
Clearly the picturebooks that employ counterpoint are especially stimulating because they elicit many possible interpretations and involve the readers imagination.
Pg24 scott,carole How Picturebooks Work.
The fun of alice then, is the fun of rule flouting and rule questioning, and i am gladdened to see Peake’s drawings exploiting this to the full. Though only a fool would cast any serious doubt over Tenniel, even Carroll himself feared that he was too adult and political a cartoonist to bring out all the fun of Alive, and as a child I remember being more afraid of Tenniels drawings than amused – such severe looking birds, such aggressive flowers, such a frowning, school marmish Alice!
Pg xv. Zadie Smith ttlg.
Its true Tenniels drawings add the horror that is missing from nonsense literature.