Alarms And Diversions
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Thurber is another one of those nearly-forgotten geniuses of American humor based at the New Yorker. Worth reading.
Another collection of Thurberiana, unique in that it contains a peppering of the author's favorites, also an introduction to his
"serious comedy." Among the 32 stories lurk joyosities such as "The Lady of Orlon," "The Psychosemanticist Will See You Now,
Mr. Thurber," "Get Thee to a Monastery" and "The Moribundant Life, or Grow Old Along with Whom?"
Bridgie Webber and another gambler named Harry Vallon. Webber had sent the widow Rosenthal $50 to help toward the funeral of Herman. All three men protested their innocence; they all had alibis. The Rosenthal murder case bloomed blackly on the front pages of all the papers. Here was a more exciting story than even the story of the Titanic, which had sunk three months before. Various curious characters began to come into the case, enlivening it. There was a tough gangster chief named Big Jack
covered (I don't know why it surprised them) that he was alive and eigh ty-three. Everybody at table knew that W. Somerset M angham, at eighty-one, was still writing in his villa at Saint-Jean-Cap Ferrat. A score or other writers, alive at the time and still writing in their seventies and eighties and even nineties, were mentioned, Lord Bertrand Russell, Walter De Ia l\1are, Max Beerbohm, H. M. Tomlinson, A. E. Coppard, Percy Lubbock, St. John Ervine, Sir Compton M ackenzie, and A. A. M ilne
firehouse, an elaborate banner costing sixty or seventy dollars. He had also bought the black-and-white bunting wi th which the front of the fire house was draped whenever a member of the company died. After his arrest, he had whiled away the time in his cell reading books on metallurgy. There was a story that when his sister-in-law, Mrs. Henry Stevens, once twi tted him on his heavy reading, he said, "Oh, that is merely the bread and butter of my literary repast." The n ight before the trial
from his 1 17 chair and bared his teeth, as if about to leap on the prosecutor. But he had quickly subsided. For every adult in New Brunswick who had known his frown or his flare-up, there were a dozen children familiar only with his smile and his kindliness. To the younger ones he was a kind of magical plainclothes Santa Claus who could produce candy from his pocket like rabbits from a hat. He frequently bought clothing for poor children. The record does not show whether he gave them rides in
him of a tangent of his theme. "Take Henry James," he said. "If he had lived in this country, he would probably have spent his middle years raising collies or throwing darts. It is preposterous to assume, however, that region or climate is the important factor. There must be something, though, in the American way of life and habit nf thought. I want to get Wylie or Margaret Mead or somebody to do a comprehensive treatise on the subject, looking at it from the viewpoints of marriage, extramarital