James Grover Thurber (December 8, 1894 – November 2, 1961) was an American author, cartoonist and celebrated wit. Thurber was best known for his cartoons and short stories, published mainly in The New Yorker magazine then collected in his numerous books. One of the most popular humorists of his time, Thurber celebrated the comic frustrations and eccentricities of ordinary people. (Click for full article.)
A burden in the bush is worth two on your hands.
A little crotch kicking is a good thing, if done in anger. I can't stand guys who are merely piqued by the unforgivable...
A man's bed is his cradle, but a woman's is often her rack.
A pinch of probably is worth a pound of perhaps.
A woman's place is in the wrong.
All men should strive to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why.
American college students are like American colleges; each has half-dulled faculties.
But what is all this fear of and opposition to oblivion? What is the matter with the soft darkness, the dreamless sleep?
Childhood used to end with the discovery that there is no Santa Claus. Nowadays, it often ends when the child gets his first adult, the way Hemingway got his first rhino, with the difference that the rhino was charging Hemingway, whereas the adult is usually running away from the child.
Discussion in America means dissent.
Do not look back in anger, or forward in fear, but around in awareness.
Don't get it right, just get it written.
Don't let the chip on your shoulder be your only reason for walking erect.
Early to rise and early to bed makes a man healthy and wealthy and dead.
He knows all about art, but he doesn't know what he likes.
He who hesitates is sometimes saved.
Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility.
I hate women because they always know where things are.
I loathe the expression “What makes him tick.” It is the American mind, looking for simple and singular solution, that uses the foolish expression. A person not only ticks, he also chimes and strikes the hour, falls and breaks and has to be put together again, and sometimes stops like an electric clock in a thunderstorm.
I spit on the grave of my awful forties.
(on turning 50)
I suppose that even the most pleasurable of imaginable occupations, that of batting baseballs through the windows of the RCA Building, would pall a little as the days ran on.
I think that maybe if women and children were in charge we would get somewhere.
I wouldn't go down there if they was Fig Newtons down there.
If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.
In his grief over the loss of a dog, a little boy stands for the first time on tiptoe, peering into the rueful morrow of manhood. After this most inconsolable of sorrows there is nothing life can do to him that he will not be able somehow to bear.
It had only one fault. It was kind of lousy.
It's better to know some of the questions, than all of the answers.
Love is blind, but desire just doesn't give a good goddamn.
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.
Men are more interesting than women, but women are more fascinating.
Nowadays men live lives of noisy desperation.
One [martini] is all right. Two are too many, and three are not enough.
Our love never ripened into friendship.
She said he proposed something on their wedding night her own brother wouldn't have suggested.
She who goes unarmed in paradise had better be sure that is where she is.
Sixty minutes of thinking of any kind is bound to lead to confusion and unhappiness.
So much has already been written about everything that you can't find out anything about it.
Sometimes the news from Washington forces me to the conclusion that your
mother and your brother Ed are in charge.
The human being says that the beast in him has been aroused, when what he actually means is that the human being in him has been aroused.
The material on me... was so extensive that the writer couldn't find anything he was looking for, and, with data up to his waist, had to guess and make things up.
The most dangerous food is wedding cake.
The past is an old armchair in the attic, the present an ominous ticking sound, and the future is anybody's guess.
The saddest words of pen or tongue are wisdom's wasted on the young.
The wit makes fun of other persons; the satirist makes fun of the world; the humorist makes fun of himself.
The written word will soon disappear and we'll no longer be able to read good prose like we used to could. This prospect does not gentle my thoughts or tranquil me toward the future.
There are two kinds of light- the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures.
There is no safety in numbers, or in anything else.
There is something about a poet which leads us to believe that he died, in many cases, as long as twenty years before his birth.
We must all study German. When Fate knocks in German, by God you hear it.
What this country needs is a good detached retinue.
(to his ophthalmologist)
Where did you get those big brown eyes and that tiny mind? (cartoon caption)
Where most of us end up there is no knowing, but the hell-bent get where they are going.
Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?
Women deserve to have more than 12 years between the ages of 28 and 40.
You can fool too many of the people too much of the time.
You can tell where I get my ideas from the things I write, and then you will know as much about it as I do.
You might as well fall flat on your face as lean over too far backward.