The Black Doll
Soft Cover. New York: Gotham Book Mart, 1973. 1st Edition. Near Fine.
First edition, first printing. Signed by Gorey on title page. Publisher's light gray paper wrappers; in the original black paper dust jacket, white paper label with Gorey's illustration of a black armless doll laid onto the front wrapper. About fine book with just a tiny crease to rear wrapper; fine unclipped dust jacket. Overall, an attractive and crisp copy. The Black Doll is Gorey's screenplay for an unproduced silent film. Like many of his works, the plot is set in a Victorian-esque setting. It tells the story of the black doll, a "PRO," or priceless ritual object, from the ancient Asian city of Glub (or Blug), which is sought after by various groups of people. The black doll figure is a recurring figure in Gorey's books, and makes appearances in The Listing Attic (1954), The Willowdale Handcar (1962), The Tunnel Calamity (1984), and The Raging Tide (1987). Gorey, a film buff particularly inspired by the works of Louis Feuillade, blends his own signature black humor with the tradition elements of silent film, creating a unique screenplay that provides much more insight into the author's thought process than many of his other books, which are hallmarked by their minimal use of text. In 1998, The Black Doll was reprinted along with several color illustrations by Gorey in Scenario, The Magazine of Screenwriting Art. In 2009, Pomegranate published a new, hardcover edition of The Black Doll with the Scenario illustrations, an interview with Gorey, and an introduction by Andreas Brown.