Archive for August 31st, 2012

the doubtful seal?

August 31st, 2012

Hol and I are on Cape Cod. On our way we stopped in at the Edward Gorey Museum.


Here I am with the sculpture of The Doubtful Guest.


A few days after this we trekked with friends out to see the seals who congregate on a quiet sandbar. There were hundreds of them lolling about in the sun.


A naturalist there explained that most of them were gray seals, and a few were harbor seals. The harbor seals are smaller and cuter, with “cocker spaniel faces,” while the gray seals can be distinguished by their Roman nose, or “horse face.” (photo below is not mine, I grabbed it from google image search.)

gray seal


Holly was struck by the resemblance to The Doubtful Guest. And now we wonder if the seals were perhaps Gorey’s inspiration for that compelling character. He wrote TDG in 1957. I don’t know when he started coming to the Cape, or if he ever ventured out to look at seals. But it’s an interesting hypothesis.