James Thurber

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Thurber, James,

1894–1961, American humorist, b. Columbus, Ohio, studied at Ohio State Univ. After working on various newspapers he served on the staff of the New Yorker from 1927 to 1933 and was later a principal contributor to the magazine, considerably influencing its tone through his various drawings, stories, and anecdotes of his misadventures. Beneath the vague outlines of Thurber's cartoons and the wistful and ironic improbabilities of his writings—often dealing with incidents and characters from his Midwestern childhood or with the vexed relationship between the sexes—there is a deep psychological insight that sets him apart from most 20th-century humorists.

With E. B. WhiteWhite, E. B.
(Elwyn Brooks White), 1899–1985, American writer, b. Mt. Vernon, N.Y., grad. Cornell, 1921. A witty, satiric observer of contemporary society, White was a member of the staff of the early New Yorker;
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 he wrote and illustrated Is Sex Necessary? (1929), a satire of books on popular psychoanalysis. The Male Animal (1940), a play he wrote with Elliott Nugent, satirizes collegiate life. Collections of his drawings and writings include The Owl in the Attic (1931), The Seal in the Bedroom (1932), My Life and Hard Times (1933), Fables for Our Time (1940), The Thurber Carnival (1945), Thurber Country (1953), Thurber's Dogs (1955), The Wonderful O (1957), and Credos and Curios (1962). Among his other works are The Thirteen Clocks (1950), a children's book, and The Years with Ross (1959), a memoir of his days with the New Yorker. Thurber's later career was hampered by his growing blindness.


See H. Thurber and E. Weeks, ed., Selected Letters of James Thurber (1981) and H. Kinney and R. A. Thurber, ed., The Thurber Letters (2003); biographies by C. S. Holmes (1972), B. Bernstein (1975, repr. 1985), R. E. Long (1988), N. A. Grauer (1994), and H. Kinney (1995).

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Thurber, James (Grover)

(1894–1961) author and cartoonist; born in Columbus, Ohio. One of America's great humorists, he wrote short stories and drew witty cartoons as a staff member of the New Yorker magazine from 1927 to 1933 and thereafter as a contributor until his death in 1961. He portrayed the preposterousness and frustrations of modern life in such collections as The Owl in the Attic and Other Perplexities (1931), The Seal in the Bedroom and Other Predicaments (1932), and Fables For Our Time (1940), which included his illustrations and such memorable stories as The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. He was also the author of children's books, including The Thirteen Clocks (1950), and coauthored with Elliot Nugent the Broadway comedy, The Male Animal (1940). As a youngster he lost the sight in his left eye, and in his mid-forties he eventually lost the vision in his other eye, thereby writing as many of his stories while blind as when he enjoyed vision.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
Nesbit, James Thurber and the late Eva Ibbotson, and words such as 'glorious', 'enchanting', 'sheer magic' are repeated in the reviewers' comments.
Had James Thurber worked in animation, the waggish result might look and sound a bit like "It's Such a Beautiful Day," indie cartoonist Don Hertzfeldt's alternately poignant and absurdist triptych, which seamlessly joins three long-gestating short films into an hourlong rumination on the nature of existence as seen through the eyes of a stick figure named Bill.
Ross, a Colorado-born high school dropout, was "completely miscast" as editor of a magazine for New York sophisticates, James Thurber later wrote.
The office will act like an embassy for our academic mission in India," says Gordon Gee, President, Ohio State University, the alma mater of American writer James Thurber, cult- making artist Roy Lichtenstein and Deven Sharma, who heads the world's most influential credit rating agency, Standard and Poor's.
Among his compositions were Sinfonia for orchestra, premiered by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in 1954, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, based on the story by James Thurber, which won a national prize for a new chamber opera in 1956, and numerous songs and piano pieces.
Fields, Lewis Grizzard, Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King, Jr., Harvey Mackay, Richard Nixon, Sophocles, John Steinbeck, and James Thurber.
The political scientist James Thurber recalled watching lobbyists with their cellphones at a congressional hearing on the 1986 tax reforms.
Washington, May 3 (ANI): A political science professor at the American University, Professor James Thurber, has said jobs and the performance of the economy will be the primary factors influencing the 2012 presidential elections, and not Osama bin Laden's killing as many think.
One can imagine James Thurber drawing a cartoon of him.
The best advice comes from James Thurber: "Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness."
One of my earliest introductions to the work of Gertrude Stein came at the age of eight, in the form of the 1934 piece, 'There's an Owl in My Room', in a later book club collection of coruscatingly funny James Thurber articles.
He has just not, to use James Thurber's retort to irate parents who claimed that their eight-year-olds could draw better than he, "had the experience."