Fables for Our Time

ISBN-10: 0060909994
ISBN-13: 9780060909994
Edition: N/A
Authors: James Thurber
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Description: James Thurber has been called "one of our great American institutions' (Stanley Walker), "a magnificent satirist (Boston Transcript), and "a Joyce in false-face" (New York Times). The New York Herald Tribune submits that he is "as blithe as  More...

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Book details

List price: $12.99
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 3/1/1995
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 144
Size: 5.31" wide x 8.00" long x 0.38" tall
Weight: 0.308
Language: English

James Thurber has been called "one of our great American institutions' (Stanley Walker), "a magnificent satirist (Boston Transcript), and "a Joyce in false-face" (New York Times). The New York Herald Tribune submits that he is "as blithe as Benchley...as savage as Swift...surprisingly wise and witty," while the Times of London, out of enthusiasm and a profound regard for truth, proclaims that "Thurber is Thurber." In Fables for Our Time, Thurber the Moralist is in the ascendancy. Here are a score or more lessons-in-prose dedicated to conventional sinners and proving--what you will. The fables are imperishably illustrated, and are supplemented by Mr. Thurber's own pictorial interpretations of famous poems in a wonderful and joyous assemblage.

Born in Columbus, Ohio, Thurber was blinded in one eye in a childhood accident. He attended Ohio State University but left without earning a degree. In 1925 he moved to New York City, where he joined the staff of the New Yorker in 1927 at the urging of his friend E. B. White. For the rest of his lifetime, Thurber contributed to the magazine his highly individual pieces and those strange, wry, and disturbing pen-and-ink drawings of "huge, resigned dogs, the determined and sometimes frightening women, the globular men who try so hard to think so unsuccessfully." The period from 1925, when the New Yorker was founded, until the death of its creator-editor, Harold Ross, in 1951, was described by Thurber in delicious and absorbing detail in The Years with Ross (1959). Of his two great talents, Thurber preferred to think of himself primarily as a writer, illustrating his own books. He published "fables" in the style of Aesop (see Vol. 2) and La Fontaine (see Vol. 2)---usually with a "barbed tip of contemporary significance"---children's books, several plays (two Broadway hits, one successful musical revue), and endless satires and parodies in short stories or full-length works. "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," included in My World---and Welcome to It (1942), is probably his best-known story and continues to be frequently anthologized. T. S. Eliot described Thurber's work as "a form of humor which is also a way of saying something serious."

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