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 :: 1894-1961, American Humorist, Illustrator

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A drawing is always dragged down to the level of its caption.
~ James Thurber - [Drawing]

 

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A word to the wise is not sufficient if it doesn't make sense.
~ James Thurber - [Wisdom]

 

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All men should strive to learn before they die, what they are running from, and to, and why.
~ James Thurber - [Purpose]

 

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Art -- the one achievement of Man which has made the long trip up from all fours seem well advised.
~ James Thurber - [Arts and Artists]

 

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But those rare souls whose spirit gets magically into the hearts of men, leave behind them something more real and warmly personal than bodily presence, an ineffable and eternal thing. It is everlasting life touching us as something more than a vague, recondite concept. The sound of a great name dies like an echo; the splendor of fame fades into nothing; but the grace of a fine spirit pervades the places through which it has passed, like the haunting loveliness of mignonette.
~ James Thurber - [Spirit and Spirituality]

 

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But what is all this fear of and opposition to Oblivion? What is the matter with the soft Darkness, the Dreamless Sleep?
~ James Thurber - [Death and Dying]

 

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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 - [Comedy and Comedians]

 

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Discussion in America means dissent.
~ James Thurber - [Dissent]

 

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Early to rise and early to bed makes a male healthy and wealthy and dead.
~ James Thurber - [Death and Dying]

 

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Editing should be, especially in the case of old writers, a counseling rather than a collaborating task. The tendency of the writer-editor to collaborate is natural, but he should say to himself, ''How can I help this writer to say it better in his own style?'' and avoid ''How can I show him how I would write it, if it were my piece?''
~ James Thurber - [Editing and Editors]

 

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Every man is occasionally visited by the suspicion that the planet on which he is riding is not really going anywhere; that the Force which controls its measured eccentricities hasn't got anything special in mind. If he broods on this somber theme long enough he gets the doleful idea that the laughing children on a merry-go-round or the thin, fine hands of a lady's watch are revolving more purposely than he is.
~ James Thurber - [Purpose]

 

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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 - [President]

 

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From one casual of mine he picked this sentence. ''After dinner, the men moved into the living room.'' I explained to the professor that this was Rose' way of giving the men time to push back their chairs and stand up. There must, as we know, be a comma after every move, made by men, on this earth.
~ James Thurber - [Grammar]

 

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He was always leaning forward, pushing something invisible ahead of him.
~ James Thurber - [Attitude]

 

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He who hesitates is sometimes saved.
~ James Thurber - [Indecision]

 

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Human Dignity has gleamed only now and then and here and there, in lonely splendor, throughout the ages, a hope of the better men, never an achievement of the majority.
~ James Thurber - [Dignity]

 

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Humor does not include sarcasm, invalid irony, sardonicism, innuendo, or any other form of cruelty. When these things are raised to a high point they can become wit, but unlike the French and the English, we have not been much good at wit since the days of Benjamin Franklin.
~ James Thurber - [Wit]

 

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Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility.
~ James Thurber - [Humor]

 

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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 - [Books and Reading]

 

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I love the idea of there being two sexes, don't you?
~ James Thurber - [Men and Women]

 

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