Thurber, James

Thurber, James

▪ American humorist
in full  James Grover Thurber 
born Dec. 8, 1894, Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
died Nov. 2, 1961, New York, N.Y.
 American writer and cartoonist, whose well-known and highly acclaimed writings and drawings picture the urban man as one who escapes into fantasy because he is befuddled and beset by a world that he neither created nor understands. Walter Mitty, the henpecked, daydreaming hero in the short story “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (from My World—and Welcome to It, 1942), is Thurber's quintessential urban man.

      Thurber attended Ohio State University from 1913 to 1918 and left without taking a degree. He held several newspaper jobs before going in 1926 to New York City, where he was a reporter for the Evening Post. In 1927 he joined Harold Ross's newly established magazine, The New Yorker (New Yorker, The), as managing editor and staff writer, making a substantial contribution to setting its urbane tone. He was later to write an account of his associates there in The Years with Ross (1959).

      His first published drawing in the magazine appeared in 1931. He considered himself primarily a writer and had been offhand about his sketches. But his friend, the essayist E.B. White (White, E.B.), noticed their worth and had them used as illustrations for their jointly written Is Sex Necessary? (1929), a spoof on the then-popular earnest, pseudoscientific approach to sex. Thurber's stock characters—the snarling wife, her timid, hapless husband, and a roster of serene, silently observing animals—have become classics of urban mythology.

      After Thurber left The New Yorker staff in 1933, he remained a leading contributor. In 1940, failing eyesight, the result of a boyhood accident (he had lost use of his left eye at age 6), forced him to curtail his drawing, and by 1952 he had to give it up altogether as his blindness became nearly total.

      My Life and Hard Times (1933) is a whimsical group of autobiographical pieces; a similar collection of family sketches appeared later in The Thurber Album (1952). His Fables for Our Time (1940) are deceptively simple and charming in style, yet unflinchingly clear-sighted in their appraisal of human foibles. A play, The Male Animal (1941), written with Elliott Nugent, is a plea for academic freedom as well as a comedy. His fantasies for children, The 13 Clocks (1950) and The Wonderful O (1957), are among the most successful fairy tales of modern times. The Thurber Carnival (1945), a collection of his writings and drawings, was adapted for the stage in 1960, with Thurber playing himself. A further collection, Credos and Curios, was published posthumously in 1962.

Additional Reading
Burton Bernstein, Thurber (1975, reissued 1985); Robert Emmet Long, James Thurber (1988).

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Thurber, James —    см. Тэрбер, Джеймс …   Писатели США. Краткие творческие биографии

  • Thurber,James Grover — Thur·ber (thûrʹbər), James Grover. 1894 1961. American writer and cartoonist who was long associated with the New Yorker magazine. His essays, short stories, such as “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (1939), and drawings humorously depict the… …   Universalium

  • Thurber, James (Grover) — born Dec. 8, 1894, Columbus, Ohio, U.S. died Nov. 2, 1961, New York, N.Y. U.S. writer and cartoonist. He attended Ohio State University before moving to New York City in 1926. He was on The New Yorker staff from 1927 to 1933 and thereafter… …   Universalium

  • Thurber, James (Grover) — (8 dic. 1894, Columbus, Ohio, EE.UU.–2 nov. 1961, Nueva York, N.Y.). Escritor y caricaturista estadounidense. Asistió a la Universidad Estatal de Ohio antes de mudarse a Nueva York en 1926. Trabajó para la revista The New Yorker de 1927 a 1933, y …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • James Thurber — James Grover Thurber (* 8. Dezember 1894 in Columbus, Ohio; † 2. November 1961 in New York) war ein US amerikanischer Schriftsteller und Zeichner, der durch seine Kurzgeschichten und Fabeln für den New Yorker bekannt wu …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • THURBER (J.) — THURBER JAMES (1894 1961) Né à Colombus, dans l’Ohio. Une longue série d’échecs a déterminé sa double activité d’écrivain et de dessinateur humoristique. James Thurber suit les cours de l’université d’Ohio de 1913 à 1918, sans parvenir à obtenir… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • James — James, Henry James, Henry James, William * * * (as used in expressions) Agee, James Anderson, (James) Maxwell Audubon, John James Baldwin, James (Arthur) Balfour (de Whittingehame), Arthur James, 1 conde Ballard, J(ames) G(raham) Barrie, Sir… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • James Thurber — Infobox Writer name = James Thurber birthname = James Grover Thurber birthdate = birth date|1894|12|8 birthplace = Columbus, Ohio deathdate = death date and age|1961|11|2|1894|12|8 deathplace = New York, New York occupation = Humorist nationality …   Wikipedia

  • James Thurber — Este artículo o sección necesita referencias que aparezcan en una publicación acreditada, como revistas especializadas, monografías, prensa diaria o páginas de Internet fidedignas. Puedes añadirlas así o avisar …   Wikipedia Español

  • James Thurber — noun United States humorist and cartoonist who published collections of essays and stories (1894 1961) • Syn: ↑Thurber, ↑James Grover Thurber • Instance Hypernyms: ↑humorist, ↑humourist, ↑cartoonist * * * James …   Useful english dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”