My son Matt was 55 yesterday, as I told you, I had a party for him, a three-Matt party and it was fun. His nieces and theirsignificant others are 20-some years younger than he and they play well together. So do I. It is very interesting for me to meet people who are so much younger than I am. (Everyone is.) I keep making discoveries with them. I hope they do with me.
Yesterday was a shocker. No one had heard of James Thurber.
“James Grover Thurber (December 8, 1894 – November 2, 1961) was an American cartoonist, author, journalist, playwright, and celebrated wit. Thurber was best known for his cartoons and short stories, published mainly in The New Yorker magazine and collected in his numerous books.” (Wikipedia)
A lot of his humour and ideas were familiar household lines to us. No longer. I mean a lot of US is gone now and later generations have lost, no, never had them, with one exception that I’m aware of. My discovery came about because of it. We were talking about Ben Stiller’s new Zoolander movie and the Millenials knew about and had seen his movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, but I was the only one who knew who had written the original story it was based on: James Thurber.
Who? Well, you’ll have to look him up. I can still quote some of my favourite lines of his; I’m sure you’ll find some you like. In addition to being witty and funny and quotable, he could also be quite profound.
“The wit makes fun of other persons; the satirist makes fun of the world; the humorist makes fun of himself, but in so doing, he identifies himself with people - that is, people everywhere, not for the purpose of taking them apart, but simply revealing their true nature.” James Thurber