Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Happy Birthday, James Thurber

From THE YEARS WITH ROSS by James Thurber (1894-1961):

"It was [E.B.] White who got the mad impetuous idea that my scrawls should be published, and, what is more, paid for with money. I didn't think he could make it. It is true that, a dozen years earlier, I had filled up a lot of space with dogs and an improbable species of human being in the Ohio State Sun-Dial, but I was its editor-in-chief then (one of my predecessors was Gardner Rea, a New Yorker artist since its first issue), and nothing could be done to stop me. Some of the Sun-Dial drawings were about the same as those I had done when I was seven and the ones I did for the New Yorker, but others were elaborate arrangements of solid black and cross-hatching. When White caught me trying the same style again one day, he spoke a sound word of warning that has gained a small deserved fame: 'Don't do that. If you ever got good, you'd be mediocre.'"

Copyright 2001 by Rosemary Thurber.

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