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Floating Worlds
Bar Harbor
I finally got around to reading a book I got for Christmas last year: _Floating Worlds: The Letters of Edward Gorey and Peter F. Neumeyer_. It contains correspondence between the two of them from 1968 through early 1970, as well as many envelopes with Gorey illustrations on them. Primarily of interest to Gorey fanatics only, but it did spark some thoughts I felt worth sharing.

During the time covered by this book, Edward Gorey was doing a lot of commercial illustration work to earn money, in between working n his own books. He and Neumeyer both hoped that their collaboration will lead to great fame and fortune for them both, and they speak of dozens of potential joint projects.

From the standpoint of the 21st century, this looks weirdly misguided. The collaborations between the two, while reasonably successful, stopped after three books, and never amounted to anything much. Gorey went on to earn enduring fame and fortune in his own right; Neumeyer pretty much didn't. What really struck me, however, was that, by this time, about half of Gorey's best work, that would earn him that fame and fortune, was already *done*. Mostly for small specialist publishers, and not all of it even still in print, but done nonetheless.

Perhaps this sort of thing is what keeps the great artists humble. Knowing that the same piece of work can be ignored by everyone or broadly hailed as a work of genius, just with the passage of time.
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