James Thurber


James Thurber Quotes

  • ''The sanity of the average banquet speaker lasts about two and a half months; at the end of that time he begins to mutter to himself, and calls out in his sleep.''
    James Thurber (1894-1961), U.S. humorist, illustrator. New Yorker (March 29, 1930).
    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • ''It takes that je ne sais quoi which we call sophistication for a woman to be magnificent in a drawing-room when her faculties have departed but she herself has not yet gone home.''
    James Thurber (1894-1961), U.S. humorist, illustrator. New Yorker (August 2, 1930).
  • ''Speed is scarcely the noblest virtue of graphic composition, but it has its curious rewards. There is a sense of getting somewhere fast, which satisfies a native American urge.''
    James Thurber (1894-1961), U.S. humorist, illustrator. A Thurber Garland, preface (1955).
  • ''Well, if I called the wrong number, why did you answer the phone?''
    James Thurber (1894-1961), U.S. humorist, illustrator. Cartoon caption, in New Yorker (June 5, 1937).
  • ''It's a naïve domestic Burgundy without any breeding, but I think you'll be amused by its presumption.''
    James Thurber (1894-1961), U.S. humorist, illustrator. Cartoon caption, in New Yorker (March 27, 1937).
  • ''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).
  • ''You might as well fall flat on your face as lean over too far backward.''
    James Thurber (1894-1961), U.S. humorist, illustrator. Originally published in New Yorker (April 29, 1939). Fables for our Time, "The Bear who Let it Alone," (1940).
  • ''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).
  • ''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).
  • ''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 »
[Report Error]