90 Quotes By James Thurber, The Renowned American Humorist And Cartoonist
Cartoonist, Author, Journalist & Playwright
James Grover Thurber was an American journalist, author, cartoonist, playwright and humorist. Thurber went to The Ohio State University but did not complete his degree due to problems with his eyesight and after working as a government clerk for some time, he joined ‘The Columbus Dispatch’ as a journalist. His career took an upward turn when he moved to New York in 1925 and he never looked back since then. He joined ‘The New Yorker’ magazine soon after as an editor and became the cartoonist at the publication in 1930. He was a prolific short story writer for the New Yorker and was also famous for his pithy cartoons directed towards the current affairs of that time. Some of his most well-known stories include ‘The Catbird Seat’, ‘My Life and Hard Times’, ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ and ‘My World and Welcome to It’ among others. He had also written the well-known play ‘The Male Animal’ that was staged at Broadway and was later on turned into a film. Thurber was a multi-faceted talent and at the same time he had a sharp wit that could only be matched by few. Whatever he has said or written has become quite famous as his quotes and thoughts and is quoted extensively. He possessed the skill of presenting his thoughts on most serious and sensitive issues in a witty and humorous way. We have excerpted his most famous quotes from his writings, books, essays and cartoons. Here is a collection of James Thurber’s thoughts, quotations and sayings.
Two is company, four is a party, three is a crowd. One is a wanderer. Beautiful things don't ask for attention. Walter Mitty: To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life. All human beings should try to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why. Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility. Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around us in awareness. Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else? It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers. There are two kinds of light - the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures. If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons. Sean O'Connell: Sometimes I don't. If I like a moment, for me, personally, I don't like to have the distraction of the camera. I just want to stay in it. You are all a lost generation," Gertrude Stein said to Hemingway. We weren't lost. We knew where we were, all right, but we wouldn't go home. Ours was the generation that stayed up all night. She wasn't much to look at but she was something to think about. Love is what you've been through with somebody Boys are beyond the range of anybody's sure understanding, at least when they are between the ages of 18 months and 90 years. Don't get it right, get it written. I do not have a psychiatrist and I do not want one, for the simple reason that if he listened to me long enough, he might become disturbed. The dog has seldom been successful in pulling man up to its level of sagacity, but man has frequently dragged the dog down to his. I think that maybe if women and children were in charge we would get somewhere. There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception. Well, if I called the wrong number, why did you answer the phone? Time is for dragonflies and angels. The former live too little and the latter live too long. Remember laughter. You'll need it even in the blessed isles of Ever After. One martini is all right. Two are too many, and three are not enough. The most dangerous food is wedding cake. You can fool too many people, too much of the time. Art – the one achievement of man which has made the long trip up from all fours seem well advised I can feel a thing I cannot touch and touch a thing I cannot feel. The first is sad and sorry, the second is your heart. Early to rise and early to bed makes a male healthy, wealthy, and dead. I am not a cat man, but a dog man, and all felines can tell this at a glance - a sharp, vindictive glance. For one thing, she pronounced flowers 'flars' and I couldn't let it slide. These are the days of bootleg love. Things have dropped from me. I have outlived certain desires; I have lost friends, some by death... others through sheer inability to cross the street. We all have faults, mine is being wicked. Man has gone long enough, or even too long, without being man enough to face the simple truth that the trouble with man is man. There is no safety in numbers, or in anything else. Nowadays most men lead lives of noisy desperation. All men kill the thing they hate, too, unless, of course, it kills them first. Mutual suspicions of mental inadequacy are common during the first year of any marriage. I always begin at the left with the opening word of the sentence and read toward the right and I recommend this method. The past is an old armchair in the attic, the present an ominous ticking sound, and the future is anybody’s guess. I hate women because they always remember where things are. He who hesitates is sometimes saved. With sixty staring me in the face, I have developed inflammation of the sentence structure and definite hardening of the paragraphs. The wit makes fun of other persons; the satirist makes fun of the world; the humorist makes fun of himself. Sixty minutes of thinking of any kind is bound to lead to confusion and unhappiness. Quick, name some towns in New Jersey Sophistication might be described as the ability to cope gracefully with a situation involving the presence of a formidable menace to one's poise and prestige... You mere device," he gnarled. "You platitude! Your Gollux ex machina! I used to wake up at 4 A.M. and start sneezing, sometimes for five hours. I tried to find out what sort of allergy I had but finally came to the conclusion that it must be an allergy to consciousness. It is better to have loafed and lost than never to have loafed at all. What would you do without me? Say 'nothing.'"
"Nothing," said the Prince.
"Good. Then you're helpless and I'll help you. To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other and to feel. That is the purpose of life. You might as well fall on your face as lean over too far backwards There is something about a poet which leads us to believe that he died, in many cases, as long as 20 years before his birth. It had only one fault. It was kind of lousy. To see things thousands of miles away, things hidden behind walls and within rooms, things dangerous to come to, to draw closer, to see and be amazed. Well, I'm disenchanted, too. We're all disenchanted. Last night I dreamed of a small consolation enjoyed only by the blind: Nobody knows the trouble I’ve not seen. Let us not look back to the past with anger, nor towards the future with fear, but look around with awareness. A drawing is always dragged down to the level of its caption.
A word to the wise is not sufficient if it doesn't make sense. It is all but impossible to sit quietly by when someone is throwing salad plates. 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. In other countries, art and literature are left to a lot of shabby bums living in attics and feeding on booze and spaghetti. Time lies frozen there. It's always Then. It's never Now. Lately, I have been wondering if there is time left for daydreaming in this 21st-century world of constant communication. I am the Golux, the only Golux in the world and not a mere device I love the idea of there being two sexes, don't you? You have made the moon," The Jester said. "That is the moon. The noblest study of mankind is Man, says Man. But what is all this fear of and opposition to Oblivion? What is the matter with the soft Darkness, the Dreamless Sleep? I don't remember any blue poodles. Hundreds of hysterical persons must confuse these phenomena with messages from the beyond and take their glory to the bishop rather than the eye doctor. At forty my faculties may have closed up like flowers at evening, leaving me unable to write my memoirs with a fitting and discreet inaccuracy, or, having written them, unable to carry them to the publisher. Her own mother lived the latter years of her life in the horrible suspicion that electricity was dripping invisibly all over the house. There was a mist of moss to ride through and a storm of glass. A dehoy who was terribly hobble,
Cast only stones that were cobble
And bats that were ding,
From a shot that was sling,
But never hit inks that were bobble. All men should strive to learn before they die, what they are running from, and to, and why Man has always assumed that his is the highest form of life in the universe. There is, of course, nothing at all with which to sustain this view. To call such persons "humorists", a loose-fitting and ugly word, is to miss the nature of their dilemma and the dilemma of their nature. It’s forty kilometers through hell, sir,” said the sergeant. Mitty finished one last brandy. “After all,” he said softly, “what isn’t?
Progress was all right. Only it went on too long.
There was an old coddle so molly,
He talked in a glot that was poly,
His gaws were so gew
That his laps became dew,
And he ate only pops that were lolly.
Man is troubled by what might be called the Dog Wish, a strange and involved compulsion to be as happy and carefree as a dog.
Books can be burned,” croaked Black.
“They have a way of rising from the ashes,” said Andreus.
Against the may, the could be, and the should, folly 'tis to balance doubt or hope.
The oyster is a blob of glup, but a woman is a woman. On his misfit globe he has outlasted the mammoth and the pterodactyl, but he has never got the upper hand of bacteria and the insects.