Quotations by James Thurber

60 Found
Displaying 1 through 50


Born: Saturday, December 8, 1894
Died: Thursday, November 2, 1961 (66 years old)
Profession: Comedian
Nationality: American


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

A word to the wise is not sufficient if it doesn't make sense.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Sense, Word)

All men kill the thing they hate, too, unless, of course, it kills them first.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Men, First, Hate)

All men should strive to learn before they die, what they are running from, and to, and why.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Men, Running)

Boys are beyond the range of anybody's sure understanding, at least when they are between the ages of 18 months and 90 years.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Boys, Months, Understanding, Years)

But what is all this fear of and opposition to Oblivion? What is the matter with the soft Darkness, the Dreamless Sleep?
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Fear, Darkness, Opposition, Sleep)

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
(Keywords: Comedy, Famous, Obscurity, Satire, Saying, Wit, Witty)

Discussion in America means dissent.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: America, Dissent)

Don't get it right, just get it written.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Right)

Early to rise and early to bed makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Bed, Man)

He who hesitates is sometimes saved.
- James Thurber

Humor is a serious thing. I like to think of it as one of our greatest earliest natural resources, which must be preserved at all cost.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Humor)

Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Humor, Chaos, Tranquility)

I am not a cat man, but a dog man, and all felines can tell this at a glance - a sharp, vindictive glance.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Man)

I think that maybe if women and children were in charge we would get somewhere.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Women, Children)

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.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Consciousness)

I'm 65 and I guess that puts me in with the geriatrics. But if there were fifteen months in every year, I'd only be 48. That's the trouble with us. We number everything. Take women, for example. I think they deserve to have more than twelve years between the ages of 28 and 40.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Women, Example, Months, Trouble, Years)

If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Beliefs, Dogs, Immortality, Heaven, Will)

It is better to have loafed and lost, than never to have loafed at all.
- James Thurber

It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Answers, Questions)

It's a naive domestic Burgundy without any breeding, but I think you'll be amused by its presumption.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Breeding)

Last night I dreamed of a small consolation enjoyed only by the blind: Nobody knows the trouble I've not seen!
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Night, Trouble)

Laughter need not be cut out of anything, since it improves everything.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Laughter)

Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Anger, Fear, Awareness)

Love is the strange bewilderment that overtakes one person on account of another person.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Love)

Love is what you've been through with somebody.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Love)

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.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Truth, Being, Man, Trouble)

Man is flying too fast for a world that is round. Soon he will catch up with himself in a great rear end collision.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: End, Flying, Man, Will, World)

My opposition to Interviews lies in the fact that offhand answers have little value or grace of expression, and that such oral give and take helps to perpetuate the decline of the English language.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Answers, English, Expression, Fact, Grace, Language, Lies, Opposition, Value)

Nowadays men lead lives of noisy desperation.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Men, Desperation)

Old age is the most unexpected of all the things that can happen to a man.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Age, Man, Old)

One martini is all right. Two are too many, and three are not enough.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Right)

Progress was all right. Only it went on too long.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Progress, Right)

Sixty minutes of thinking of any kind is bound to lead to confusion and unhappiness.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Confusion, Thinking, Unhappiness)

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 (such as the butler, or the man under the bed - but never the husband).
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Ability, Bed, Man, Sophistication)

Speed is scarcely the noblest virtue of graphic composition, but it has its curious rewards. There is a sense of getting somewhere fast, which satisfies a native American urge.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Virtue, American, Sense)

The animals that depend on instinct have an inherent knowledge of the laws of economics and of how to apply them; Man, with his powers of reason, has reduced economics to the level of a farce which is at once funnier and more tragic than Tobacco Road.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Knowledge, Animals, Economics, Instinct, Laws, Man, Reason, Road)

The appreciative smile, the chuckle, the soundless mirth, so important to the success of comedy, cannot be understood unless one sits among the audience and feels the warmth created by the quality of laughter that the audience takes home with it.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Home, Success, Quality, Comedy, Laughter, Mirth, Smile)

The difference between our decadence and the Russians' is that while theirs is brutal, ours is apathetic.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Difference)

The dog has got more fun out of Man than Man has got out of the dog, for the clearly demonstrable reason that Man is the more laughable of the two animals.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Animals, Fun, Man, Reason)

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.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Successful, Man)

The laughter of man is more terrible than his tears, and takes more forms hollow, heartless, mirthless, maniacal.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Laughter, Man, Tears)

The most dangerous food is wedding cake.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Food, Wedding)

The nation that complacently and fearfully allows its artists and writers to become suspected rather than respected is no longer regarded as a nation possessed with humor or depth.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Humor, Artists, Nation, Writers)

The only rules comedy can tolerate are those of taste, and the only limitations those of libel.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Comedy, Limitations, Rules, Taste)

The past is an old armchair in the attic, the present an ominous ticking sound, and the future is anybody's guess.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Future, Old, Past, Present, Sound)

The sanity of the average banquet speaker lasts about two and a half months; at the end of that time he begins to mutter to himself, and calls out in his sleep.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Time, End, Months, Sanity, Sleep)

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
(Keywords: Nature, People, Purpose, Fun, Wit, World)

There are two kinds of light - the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures.
- James Thurber
(Keywords: Light)

There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception.
- James Thurber



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