YOU PERHAPS remember this remarkable book. In the early eighties it marked the height of the ILLUSTRATED FANTASY COFFEE TABLE BOOK CRAZE that we all remember, and even enjoyed its own animated special and series.
UNLIKE FROUD AND LEE'S "Faeries," "Gnomes" was not just an album of annotated illustrations, it was an ENTIRE FAKE ENCYCLOPEDIA of gnomic life and culture, explaining in great, unnecessary detail the way they built their homes, pitched their woo, and cured their ailments.
YOU MAY THUS APPRECIATE its attraction to me. Like the best books, it is unclear exactly who it was meant to reach. I may attest that children enjoy it, but it is very, ridiculously sophisticated and remarkably, bizarrely, europeanly frank about the gnome's physical and sexual lives. And while there is some discussion now on the internet about exactly how much Gnome nudity is in the book, I will settle the argument now: THERE IS ENOUGH.
HOWEVER, I was wrong. The authors, Wil Huygen and Rien Poortvliet, are not in any way Norwegian, as I claimed in a recent interview, but DUTCH.
I REGRET THE ERROR.