Poetry is a form of literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language—such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, metre—to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic ostensible meaning. Poetry has a long history, dating back to prehistorical times with the creation of hunting poetry in Africa, panegyric and elegiac court poetry was developed extensively throughout the history of the empires of the Nile and Volta river valleys; some of the earliest written poetry in Africa can be found among the Pyramid Texts written during the 25th century BCE, while the Epic of Sundiata is one of the most well-known examples of griot court poetry. The earliest Western Asian epic poetry, the Epic of Gilgamesh, was written in Sumerian. Early poems in the Eurasian continent evolved from folk songs such as the Chinese Shijing, or from a need to retell oral epics, as with the Sanskrit Vedas, Zoroastrian Gathas, the Homeric epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey. Ancient Greek attempts to define poetry, such as Aristotle's Poetics, focused on the uses of speech in rhetoric, drama and comedy.
Attempts concentrated on features such as repetition, verse form and rhyme, emphasized the aesthetics which distinguish poetry from more objectively informative, prosaic forms of writing. Poetry uses forms and conventions to suggest differential interpretation to words, or to evoke emotive responses. Devices such as assonance, alliteration and rhythm are sometimes used to achieve musical or incantatory effects; the use of ambiguity, symbolism and other stylistic elements of poetic diction leaves a poem open to multiple interpretations. Figures of speech such as metaphor and metonymy create a resonance between otherwise disparate images—a layering of meanings, forming connections not perceived. Kindred forms of resonance may exist, between individual verses, in their patterns of rhyme or rhythm; some poetry types are specific to particular cultures and genres and respond to characteristics of the language in which the poet writes. Readers accustomed to identifying poetry with Dante, Goethe and Rumi may think of it as written in lines based on rhyme and regular meter.
Much modern poetry reflects a critique of poetic tradition, playing with and testing, among other things, the principle of euphony itself, sometimes altogether forgoing rhyme or set rhythm. In today's globalized world, poets adapt forms and techniques from diverse cultures and languages; some scholars believe. Others, suggest that poetry did not predate writing; the oldest surviving epic poem, the Epic of Gilgamesh, comes from the 3rd millennium BCE in Sumer, was written in cuneiform script on clay tablets and on papyrus. A tablet dating to c. 2000 BCE describes an annual rite in which the king symbolically married and mated with the goddess Inanna to ensure fertility and prosperity. An example of Egyptian epic poetry is The Story of Sinuhe. Other ancient epic poetry includes the Iliad and the Odyssey. Epic poetry, including the Odyssey, the Gathas, the Indian Vedas, appears to have been composed in poetic form as an aid to memorization and oral transmission, in prehistoric and ancient societies.
Other forms of poetry developed directly from folk songs. The earliest entries in the oldest extant collection of Chinese poetry, the Shijing, were lyrics; the efforts of ancient thinkers to determine what makes poetry distinctive as a form, what distinguishes good poetry from bad, resulted in "poetics"—the study of the aesthetics of poetry. Some ancient societies, such as China's through her Shijing, developed canons of poetic works that had ritual as well as aesthetic importance. More thinkers have struggled to find a definition that could encompass formal differences as great as those between Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and Matsuo Bashō's Oku no Hosomichi, as well as differences in content spanning Tanakh religious poetry, love poetry, rap. Classical thinkers employed classification as a way to assess the quality of poetry. Notably, the existing fragments of Aristotle's Poetics describe three genres of poetry—the epic, the comic, the tragic—and develop rules to distinguish the highest-quality poetry in each genre, based on the underlying purposes of the genre.
Aestheticians identified three major genres: epic poetry, lyric poetry, dramatic poetry, treating comedy and tragedy as subgenres of dramatic poetry. Aristotle's work was influential throughout the Middle East during the Islamic Golden Age, as well as in Europe during the Renaissance. Poets and aestheticians distinguished poetry from, defined it in opposition to prose, understood as writing with a proclivity to logical explication and a linear narrative structure; this does not imply that poetry is illogical or lacks narration, but rather that poetry is an attempt to render the beautiful or sublime without the burden of engaging the logical or narrative thought process. English Romantic poet John Keats termed this escape from logic "Negative Capability"; this "romantic" approach views form as a key element of successful poetry because form is abstract and distinct from the underlying notional logic. This approach remained influential into t
Tragicomedy is a literary genre that blends aspects of both tragic and comic forms. Most seen in dramatic literature, the term can variously describe by either a tragic play which contains enough comic elements to lighten the overall mood or a serious play with a happy ending. There is no complete formal definition of tragicomedy from the classical age, it appears that the Greek philosopher Aristotle had something like the Renaissance meaning of the term in mind when, in Poetics, he discusses tragedy with a dual ending. In this respect, a number of Greek and Roman plays, for instance Alcestis, may be called tragicomedies, though without any definite attributes outside of plot; the word itself originates with the Roman comic playwright Plautus, who coined the term somewhat facetiously in the prologue to his play Amphitryon. The character Mercury, sensing the indecorum of the inclusion of both kings and gods alongside servants in a comedy, declares that the play had better be a "tragicomoedia": Plautus's comment had an arguably excessive impact on Renaissance aesthetic theory, which had transformed Aristotle's comments on drama into a rigid theory.
For "rule mongers", "mixed" works such as those mentioned above, more recent "romances" such as Orlando Furioso, The Odyssey were at best puzzles. Two figures helped to elevate tragicomedy to the status of a regular genre, by, meant one with its own set of rigid rules. Giovanni Battista Giraldi Cinthio, in the mid-sixteenth century, both argued that the tragedy-with-comic-ending was most appropriate to modern times and produced his own examples of such plays. More important was Giovanni Battista Guarini. Guarini's Il Pastor Fido, published in 1590, provoked a fierce critical debate in which Guarini's spirited defense of generic innovation carried the day. Guarini's tragicomedy offered modulated action that never drifted too far either to comedy or tragedy, mannered characters, a pastoral setting. All three became staples of continental tragicomedy for more. In England, where practice ran ahead of theory, the situation was quite different. In the sixteenth century, "tragicomedy" meant the native sort of romantic play that violated the unities of time and action, that glibly mixed high- and low-born characters, that presented fantastic actions.
These were the features Philip Sidney deplored in his complaint against the "mungrell Tragy-comedie" of the 1580s, of which Shakespeare's Polonius offers famous testimony: "The best actors in the world, either for tragedy, history, pastoral-comical, historical-pastoral, tragical-historical, tragical-comical-historical-pastoral, scene individuable, or poem unlimited: Seneca cannot be too heavy, nor Plautus too light. For the law of writ and the liberty, these are the only men." Some aspects of this romantic impulse remain in the work of more sophisticated playwrights: Shakespeare's last plays, which may well be called tragicomedies, have been called romances. By the early Stuart period, some English playwrights had absorbed the lessons of the Guarini controversy. John Fletcher's The Faithful Shepherdess, an adaptation of Guarini's play, was produced in 1608. In the printed edition, Fletcher offered an interesting definition of the term, worth quoting at length: "A tragi-comedie is not so called in respect of mirth and killing, but in respect it wants deaths, enough to make it no tragedy, yet brings some neere it, inough to make it no comedie."
Fletcher's definition focuses on events: a play's genre is determined by whether or not people die in it, in a secondary way on how close the action comes to a death. But, as Eugene Waith showed, the tragicomedy Fletcher developed in the next decade had unifying stylistic features: sudden and unexpected revelations, outré plots, distant locales, a persistent focus on elaborate, artificial rhetoric; some of Fletcher's contemporaries, notably Philip Massinger and James Shirley, wrote successful and popular tragicomedies. Richard Brome essayed the form, but with less success, and many of their contemporary writers, ranging from John Ford to Lodowick Carlell to Sir Aston Cockayne, made attempts in the genre. Tragicomedy remained popular up to the closing of the theaters in 1642, Fletcher's works were popular in the Restoration as well; the old styles were cast aside as tastes changed in the eighteenth century. The more subtle criticism that developed after the Renaissance stressed the thematic and formal aspects of tragicomedy, rather than plot.
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing defined it as a mixture of emotions in which "seriousness stimulates laughter, pain pleasure." More tragicomedy's affinity with satire and "dark" comedy have suggested a tragicomic impulse in modern theatre with Luigi Pirandello who influenced Beckett. It can be seen in absurdist drama. Friedrich Dürrenmatt, the Swiss dramatist, suggested that tragicomedy was the inevitable genre for the twentieth century. Tragicomedy is a common genre in post-World War II British theatre, with authors as varied as Samuel Beckett, Tom Stoppard, John Arden, Alan Ayckbourn and Harold Pinter writing in this genre. Many writers of the metamodernist and postmodernist movements have made use of tragicomedy and/or gallows humor. A notable example of a metamodernist tragicomedy is David Foster Wallace's 1996 magnum opus, Infinite Jest. Comedy-drama Outrapo Schadenfreude Shakespearean problem play Theatre of the Absurd List of tragedy films and T
Part of speech
In traditional grammar, a part of speech' is a category of words which have similar grammatical properties. Words that are assigned to the same part of speech display similar behavior in terms of syntax—they play similar roles within the grammatical structure of sentences—and sometimes in terms of morphology, in that they undergo inflection for similar properties. Listed English parts of speech are noun, adjective, pronoun, conjunction and sometimes numeral, article, or determiner. Other Indo-European languages have all these word classes. Beyond the Indo-European family, such other European languages as Hungarian and Finnish, both of which belong to the Uralic family lack prepositions or have only few of them. Other terms than part of speech—particularly in modern linguistic classifications, which make more precise distinctions than the traditional scheme does—include word class, lexical class, lexical category; some authors restrict the term lexical category to refer only to a particular type of syntactic category.
The term form class is used, although this has various conflicting definitions. Word classes may be classified as open or closed: open classes acquire new members while closed classes acquire new members infrequently, if at all. All languages have the word classes noun and verb, but beyond these two there are significant variations among different languages. For example, Japanese has as many as three classes of adjectives; because of such variation in the number of categories and their identifying properties, analysis of parts of speech must be done for each individual language. The labels for each category are assigned on the basis of universal criteria; the classification of words into lexical categories is found from the earliest moments in the history of linguistics. In the Nirukta, written in the 5th or 6th century BC, the Sanskrit grammarian Yāska defined four main categories of words: नाम nāma – noun आख्यात ākhyāta – verb उपसर्ग upasarga – pre-verb or prefix निपात nipāta – particle, invariant word These four were grouped into two larger classes: inflectable and uninflectable.
The ancient work on the grammar of the Tamil language, Tolkāppiyam, argued to have been written around 2,500 years ago, classifies Tamil words as peyar, vinai and uri. A century or two after the work of Nirukta, the Greek scholar Plato wrote in his Cratylus dialog that "... sentences are, I conceive, a combination of verbs and nouns ". Aristotle added another class, "conjunction", which included not only the words known today as conjunctions, but other parts. By the end of the 2nd century BC grammarians had expanded this classification scheme into eight categories, seen in the Art of Grammar, attributed to Dionysius Thrax: Noun: a part of speech inflected for case, signifying a concrete or abstract entity Verb: a part of speech without case inflection, but inflected for tense and number, signifying an activity or process performed or undergone Participle: a part of speech sharing features of the verb and the noun Article: a declinable part of speech, taken to include the definite article, but the basic relative pronoun Pronoun: a part of speech substitutable for a noun and marked for a person Preposition: a part of speech placed before other words in composition and in syntax Adverb: a part of speech without inflection, in modification of or in addition to a verb, clause, sentence, or other adverb Conjunction: a part of speech binding together the discourse and filling gaps in its interpretationIt can be seen that these parts of speech are defined by morphological and semantic criteria.
The Latin grammarian Priscian modified the above eightfold system, excluding "article", but adding "interjection". The Latin names for the parts of speech, from which the corresponding modern English terms derive, were nomen, participium, praepositio, adverbium and interjectio; the category nomen included substantives and numerals. This is reflected in the older English terminology noun substantive, noun adjective and noun numeral; the adjective became a separate class, as did the numerals, the English word noun came to be applied to substantives only. Works of English grammar follow the pattern of the European tradition as described above, except that participles are now regarded as forms of
Literary nonsense is a broad categorization of literature that balances elements that make sense with some that do not, with the effect of subverting language conventions or logical reasoning. Though the most well-known form of literary nonsense is nonsense verse, the genre is present in many forms of literature; the effect of nonsense is caused by an excess of meaning, rather than a lack of it. Its humor is derived from the "joke" of a punchline. Literary nonsense, as recognized since the nineteenth century, comes from a combination of two broad artistic sources; the first and older source is the oral folk tradition, including games, songs and rhymes, such as the nursery rhyme Hey Diddle Diddle. The literary figure Mother Goose represents common incarnations of this style of writing; the second, newer source of literary nonsense is in the intellectual absurdities of court poets and intellectuals of various kinds. These writers created sophisticated nonsense forms of Latin parodies, religious travesties, political satire, though these texts are distinguished from more pure satire and parody by their exaggerated nonsensical effects.
Today's literary nonsense comes from a combination of both sources. Though not the first to write this hybrid kind of nonsense, Edward Lear developed and popularized it in his many limericks and other famous texts such as The Owl and the Pussycat, The Dong with a Luminous Nose, The Jumblies and The Story of the Four Little Children Who Went Around the World. Lewis Carroll continued this trend, making literary nonsense a worldwide phenomenon with Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. Carroll's poem "Jabberwocky", which appears in the latter book, is considered quintessential nonsense literature. In literary nonsense, certain formal elements of language and logic that facilitate meaning are balanced by elements that negate meaning; these formal elements include semantics, phonetics, context and formal diction. The genre is most recognizable by the various techniques or devices it uses to create this balance of meaning and lack of meaning, such as faulty cause and effect, neologism and inversions, simultaneity, picture/text incongruity, infinite repetition, negativity or mirroring, misappropriation.
Nonsense tautology and absurd precision have been used in the nonsense genre. For a text to be within the genre of literary nonsense, it must have an abundance of nonsense techniques woven into the fabric of the piece. If the text employs only occasional nonsense devices it may not be classified as literary nonsense, though there may be a nonsensical effect to certain portions of the work. Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy, for instance, employs the nonsense device of imprecision by including a blank page, but this is only one nonsense device in a novel that otherwise makes sense. In Flann O'Brien's The Third Policeman, on the other hand, many of the devices of nonsense are present throughout, thus it could be considered a nonsense novel. Gibberish, light verse and jokes and riddles are sometimes mistaken for literary nonsense, the confusion is greater because nonsense can sometimes inhabit these forms and genres. Pure gibberish, as in the "hey diddle diddle" of nursery rhyme, is a device of nonsense, but it does not make a text, literary nonsense.
If there is not significant sense to balance out such devices the text dissolves into literal nonsense. Light verse, speaking humorous verse meant to entertain, may share humor, inconsequentiality, playfulness, with nonsense, but it has a clear point or joke, does not have the requisite tension between meaning and lack of meaning. Nonsense is distinct from fantasy. While nonsense may employ the strange creatures, other worldly situations and talking animals of fantasy, these supernatural phenomena are not nonsensical if they have a discernible logic supporting their existence; the distinction lies in the unified nature of fantasy. Everything follows logic within the rules of the fantasy world; the nature of magic within an imaginary world is an example of this distinction. Fantasy worlds employ the presence of magic to logically explain the impossible. In nonsense literature, magic is rare but when it does occur, its nonsensical nature only adds to the mystery rather than logically explaining anything.
An example of nonsensical magic occurs in Carl Sandburg's Rootabaga Stories, when Jason Squiff, in possession of a magical "gold buckskin whincher", has his hat and shoes turn into popcorn because, according to the "rules" of the magic, "You have a letter Q in your name and because you have the pleasure and happiness of having a Q in your name you must have a popcorn hat, popcorn mittens and popcorn shoes". Riddles only appear to be nonsense; the most famous nonsense riddle is only so because it had no answer. In Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter asks Alice "Why is a raven like a writing-desk?" When Alice gives up, the Hatter replies. Some nonsense texts are riddles, such as the popular 1940s song Mairzy Doats, which at first appears to have little discernible meaning but has a discoverable message. Jokes are not nonsense because
Performance is completion of a task with application of knowledge and abilities. In work place, performance or job performance means good ranking with the hypothesized conception of requirements of a role. There are two types of job performances: task. Task performance is related to cognitive ability while contextual performance is dependent upon personality. Task performance are behavioral roles that are recognized in job descriptions and by remuneration systems, they are directly related to organizational performance, contextual performance are value based and additional behavioral roles that are not recognized in job descriptions and covered by compensation. Citizenship performance like contextual performance means a set of individual activity/contribution that supports the organizational culture. In the performing arts, a performance comprises an event in which a performer or group of performers present one or more works of art to an audience. In instrumental music, performance is described as "play".
The performers participate in rehearsals beforehand. An effective performance is determined by achievement skills and competency of the performer - level of skill and knowledge. Spencer and McClelland in 1994 defined competency as "a combination of motives, self-concepts, cognitive behavior skills" that helps a performer to differentiate themselves superior from average performers. A performance may describe the way in which an actor performs. In a solo capacity, it may refer to a mime artist, conjurer, or other entertainer. Williams and Krane found the following characteristics define an ideal performance state: Absence of fear Not thinking about the performance Adaptive focus on the activity A sense of effortlessness and belief in confidence or self-efficacy A sense of personal control A distortion of time and space where time does not affect the activityOther related factors are motivation to achieve success or avoid failure, task relevant attention, positive self-talk and cognitive regulation to achieve automaticity.
Performance is dependent on adaptation of eight areas: Handling crisis, managing stress, creative problem solving, knowing necessary functional tools and skills, agile management of complex processes, interpersonal adaptability, cultural adaptability, physical fitness. Performance is not always a result of practice, it is about honing the skill over practice itself can result in failure due to ego depletion. Theatrical performances when the audience is limited to only a few observers, can lead to significant increases in the performer's heart rate above his or her baseline heart rate; this increase takes place in several stages relative to the performance itself, including anticipatory activation, confrontation activation and release period. The same physiological reactions can be experienced in other mediums, such as instrumental performance; when experiments were conducted to determine whether there was a correlation between audience size and heart rate of instrumental performers, the researcher's findings ran contrary to previous studies, showing a positive correlation rather than a negative one.
Heart rate shares a positive correlation with the self reported anxiety of performers. Other physiological responses to public performance include perspiration, secretion of the adrenal glands, increased blood pressure. Bell, B. S. & Kozlowski, S. W. J.. Active learning: Effects of core training design elements on self regulatory processes and adaptability. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93, 296-316. Fadde, P. J. & Klein, G. A.. Deliberate performance: Accelerating expertise in natural settings. Performance Improvement, 49, 5-15. Freeman, S. Eddy, S. McDounough, M. et al. Active learning increases student performance in science and mathematics. PNAS, 111, 8410-8414. Gagne, R. M.. Military training and principles of learning. American psychologist, 17, 83-91. Lohman, M.. Cultivating problem solving skills through problem based approaches to professional development. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 13, 243-256. Meyer, R.. Problem solving skills through problem based approaches to professional development.
Human Resource Development Quarterly, 13, 263-270. Noordzu, G. Hooft, E. Mierlo, H. et al. The effects of a learning-goal orientation training on self-regulation: A field experiment among unemployed job seekers. Personnel Psychology, 66, 723-755
As a physical object, a book is a stack of rectangular pages oriented with one edge tied, sewn, or otherwise fixed together and bound to the flexible spine of a protective cover of heavier inflexible material. The technical term for this physical arrangement is codex. In the history of hand-held physical supports for extended written compositions or records, the codex replaces its immediate predecessor, the scroll. A single sheet in a codex is a leaf, each side of a leaf is a page; as an intellectual object, a book is prototypically a composition of such great length that it takes a considerable investment of time to compose and a still considerable, though not so extensive, investment of time to read. This sense of book has an unrestricted sense. In the restricted sense, a book is a self-sufficient section or part of a longer composition, a usage that reflects the fact that, in antiquity, long works had to be written on several scrolls, each scroll had to be identified by the book it contained.
So, for instance, each part of Aristotle's Physics is called a book, as of course the Bible encompasses many different books. In the unrestricted sense, a book is the compositional whole of which such sections, whether called books or chapters or parts, are parts; the intellectual content in a physical book need not be a composition, nor be called a book. Books can consist only of drawings, engravings, or photographs, or such things as crossword puzzles or cut-out dolls. In a physical book the pages can be left blank or can feature an abstract set of lines as support for on-going entries, i.e. an account book, an appointment book, a log book, an autograph book, a notebook, a diary or day book, or a sketch book. Some physical books are made with pages thick and sturdy enough to support other physical objects, like a scrapbook or photograph album. Books may be distributed in electronic form as other formats. Although in ordinary academic parlance a monograph is understood to be a specialist academic work, rather than a reference work on a single scholarly subject, in library and information science monograph denotes more broadly any non-serial publication complete in one volume or a finite number of volumes, in contrast to serial publications like a magazine, journal, or newspaper.
An avid reader or collector of books or a book lover is a bibliophile or colloquially, "bookworm". A shop where books are bought and sold is a bookstore. Books are sold elsewhere. Books can be borrowed from libraries. Google has estimated that as of 2010 130,000,000 distinct titles had been published. In some wealthier nations, the sale of printed books has decreased because of the use of e-books, though sales of e-books declined in the first half of 2015; the word book comes from Old English "bōc", which in turn comes from the Germanic root "*bōk-", cognate to "beech". In Slavic languages "буква" is cognate with "beech". In Russian and in Serbian and Macedonian, the word "букварь" or "буквар" refers to a primary school textbook that helps young children master the techniques of reading and writing, it is thus conjectured. The Latin word codex, meaning a book in the modern sense meant "block of wood"; when writing systems were created in ancient civilizations, a variety of objects, such as stone, tree bark, metal sheets, bones, were used for writing.
A tablet is a physically robust writing medium, suitable for casual transport and writing. Clay tablets were flattened and dry pieces of clay that could be carried, impressed with a stylus, they were used as a writing medium for writing in cuneiform, throughout the Bronze Age and well into the Iron Age. Wax tablets were pieces of wood covered in a thick enough coating of wax to record the impressions of a stylus, they were the normal writing material in schools, in accounting, for taking notes. They had the advantage of being reusable: the wax could be melted, reformed into a blank; the custom of binding several wax tablets together is a possible precursor of modern bound books. The etymology of the word codex suggests that it may have developed from wooden wax tablets. Scrolls can be made from papyrus, a thick paper-like material made by weaving the stems of the papyrus plant pounding the woven sheet with a hammer-like tool until it is flattened. Papyrus was used for writing in Ancient Egypt as early as the First Dynasty, although the first evidence is from the account books of King Nefertiti Kakai of the Fifth Dynasty.
Papyrus sheets were glued together to form a scroll. Tree bark such as lime and other materials were used. According to Herodotus, the Phoenicians brought writing and papyrus to Greece around the 10th or 9th century BC; the Greek word for papyrus as writing material and book come from the Phoenician port town Byblos, through which papyrus was exported to Greece. From Greek we derive the word tome, which meant a slice or piece and from there began to denote "a roll of papyrus". Tomus was used by the Latins with the same meaning as volumen. Whether made from papyrus, parchment, or paper, scrolls were the dominant form of book in the Hellenistic, Chinese and Macedonian culture
Edward St. John Gorey was an American writer and artist noted for his illustrated books, his characteristic pen-and-ink drawings depict vaguely unsettling narrative scenes in Victorian and Edwardian settings. Edward St. John Gorey was born in Chicago, his parents, Helen Dunham and Edward Lee Gorey, divorced in 1936 when he was 11 remarried in 1952 when he was 27. One of his stepmothers was Corinna Mura, a cabaret singer who had a small role in the classic film Casablanca as the woman playing the guitar while singing "La Marseillaise" at Rick's Café Américain, his father was a journalist. Gorey's maternal great-grandmother, Helen St. John Garvey, was a popular nineteenth-century greeting card writer and artist, from whom he claimed to have inherited his talents. Gorey attended a variety of local grade schools and the Francis W. Parker School, he spent 1944 to 1946 in the Army at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. He attended Harvard University, beginning in 1946 and graduating in the class of 1950. In the early 1950s, with a group of recent Harvard alumni including Alison Lurie, John Ashbery, Donald Hall and O'Hara, amongst others, founded the Poets' Theatre in Cambridge, supported by Harvard faculty members John Ciardi and Thornton Wilder.
He stated that his formal art training was "negligible". From 1953 to 1960, he lived in Manhattan and worked for the Art Department of Doubleday Anchor, illustrating book covers and in some cases, adding illustrations to the text, he illustrated works as diverse as Bram Stoker's Dracula, H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds and T. S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. In years he produced cover illustrations and interior artwork for many children's books by John Bellairs, as well as books begun by Bellairs and continued by Brad Strickland after Bellairs' death, his first independent work, The Unstrung Harp, was published in 1953. He published under various pen names, some of which were anagrams of his first and last names, such as Ogdred Weary, Dogear Wryde, Ms. Regera Dowdy, dozens more, his books feature the names Eduard Blutig, a German-language pun on his own name, O. Müde; the New York Times credits bookstore owner Andreas Brown and his store, the Gotham Book Mart, with launching Gorey's career: "it became the central clearing house for Mr. Gorey, presenting exhibitions of his work in the store's gallery and turning him into an international celebrity."Gorey's illustrated books, with their vaguely ominous air and ostensibly Victorian and Edwardian settings, have long had a cult following.
He made a notable impact on the world of theater with his designs for the 1977 Broadway revival of Dracula, for which he won the Tony Award for Best Costume Design and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Scenic Design. In 1980, Gorey became well known for his animated introduction to the PBS series Mystery! In the introduction of each Mystery! episode, host Vincent Price would welcome viewers to "Gorey Mansion". Because of the settings and style of Gorey's work, many people have assumed. S. once, for a visit to the Scottish Hebrides. In years, he lived year-round in Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod, where he wrote and directed numerous evening-length entertainments featuring his own papier-mâché puppets, an ensemble known as Le Theatricule Stoique; the first of these productions, Lost Shoelaces, premiered in Woods Hole, Massachusetts on August 13, 1987. The last was The White Canoe: an Opera Seria for Hand Puppets, for which Gorey wrote the libretto, with a score by the composer Daniel James Wolf.
Based on Thomas Moore's poem The Lake of the Dismal Swamp, the opera was staged after Gorey's death and directed by his friend and longtime collaborator Carol Verburg, with a puppet stage made by his friends and neighbors, the noted set designers Herbert Senn and Helen Pond. In the early 1970s, Gorey wrote an unproduced screenplay for The Black Doll. After Gorey's death, one of his executors, Andreas Brown, turned up a large cache of unpublished work complete and incomplete. Brown described the find as "ample material for many future books and for plays based on his work". Although Gorey's books were popular with children, he did not associate with children much and had no particular fondness for them. Gorey never married, professed to have little interest in romance, never discussed any specific romantic relationships in interviews. In the book The Strange Case of Edward Gorey, published after Gorey's death, his friend Alexander Theroux reported that when Gorey was pressed on the matter of his sexual orientation, he said that he was not sure whether he was gay or straight.
When asked what his sexual orientation was in an interview, he said, I'm neither one thing nor the other particularly. I am fortunate in that I am reasonably undersexed or something... I've never said that I was gay and I've never said that I wasn't... What I'm trying to say is that I am a person before I am anything else... Well, I'm the other particularly. I suppose, but I don’t identify with it much. Edward Gorey agreed in an interview that the "sexlessness" of his works was a product of his asexuality. From 1995 to his death in April 2000, the reclusive artist was the subject of a cinéma vérité-style documentary directed by Christopher Seufert. (As of 2016, the film has been screened as a work-in-progress.