Treasure Island

Quotations From JAMES THURBER

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  • 1.
    I always begin at the left with the opening word of the sentence and read toward the right and I recommend this method.
    James Thurber (1894-1961), U.S. humorist, illustrator. repr. in New York Times Book Review (Dec. 4, 1988). Memo to New Yorker (1959). On editors' reading habits.
  • 2.
    I consider that that "that" that worries us so much should be forgotten. Rats desert a sinking ship. Thats infest a sinking magazine.
    James Thurber (1894-1961), U.S. humorist, illustrator. memo to New Yorker (1959), published in New York Times Book Review (Dec. 4, 1988).
  • 3.
    You can fool too many of the people too much of the time.
    James Thurber (1894-1961), U.S. humorist, illustrator. Moral of "The Owl Who Was God," Fables for Our Time (1940).

    Read more quotations about / on: time, people
  • 4.
    My drawings have been described as pre-intentionalist, meaning that they were finished before the ideas for them had occurred to me. I shall not argue the point.
    James Thurber (1894-1961), U.S. humorist, illustrator. Life (New York, March 14, 1960).
  • 5.
    Somebody once said that I am incapable of drawing a man, but that I draw abstract things like despair, disillusion, despondency, sorrow, lapse of memory, exile, and that these things are sometimes in a shape that might be called Man or Woman.
    James Thurber (1894-1961), U.S. humorist, illustrator. Interview with Jack Sher in Detroit Free Press (February 25, 1940).

    Read more quotations about / on: despair, sorrow, memory, sometimes, woman
  • 6.
    From now on, I think it is safe to predict, neither the Democratic nor the Republican Party will ever nominate for President a candidate without good looks, stage presence, theatrical delivery, and a sense of timing.
    James Thurber (1894-1961), U.S. humorist, illustrator. James Thurber Collecting Himself (1989). From an unpublished manuscript, dated March 20, 1961, said of the Kennedy-Nixon TV debates.
  • 7.
    But what is all this fear of and opposition to Oblivion? What is the matter with the soft Darkness, the Dreamless Sleep?
    James Thurber (1894-1961), U.S. humorist, illustrator. Also included in Clifton Fadiman, I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Certain Eminent Men and Women of Our Time (c. 1939). Forum and Century (June 1939).

    Read more quotations about / on: sleep, fear
  • 8.
    Art—the one achievement of Man which has made the long trip up from all fours seem well advised.
    James Thurber (1894-1961), U.S. humorist, illustrator. Also included in Clifton Fadiman, I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Certain Eminent Men and Women of Our Time (1939). Forum and Century (June 1939).
  • 9.
    The animals that depend on instinct have an inherent knowledge of the laws of economics and of how to apply them; Man, with his powers of reason, has reduced economics to the level of a farce which is at once funnier and more tragic than Tobacco Road.
    James Thurber (1894-1961), U.S. humorist, illustrator. Included in Clifton Fadiman, I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Certain Eminent Men and Women of Our Time (1939). Forum and Century (June 1939).
  • 10.
    Comedy has to be done en clair. You can't blunt the edge of wit or the point of satire with obscurity. Try to imagine a famous witty saying that is not immediately clear.
    James Thurber (1894-1961), U.S. humorist, illustrator. Letter, March 11, 1954, to critic and poet Malcolm Cowley. Collecting Himself (1989).

    Read more quotations about / on: imagine
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