June 8 ~ Cut Out of Anything Writings and Drawings

"Laughter need not be cut out of anything since it improves everything." ~ James Thurber

Pencils, Atelier Nouvelles

James Thurber (1894-1961) found laughter everywhere. The cartoonist, writer, and comic genius, born in Columbus Ohio, was blinded in one eye by an arrow accident at age seven.

By age 40, he had suffered inoperable cataracts on the other, losing sight in both eyes, but managed to maintain his ability to laugh and bring laughter to others.

Often compared to humorist Mark Twain, Thurber once observed, "Seeing is deceiving. It's eating that's believing."

The shy Midwesterner contributed drawings, articles, and anecdotes for The New Yorker magazine for over 30 years. With unpredictable wit, he illustrated the satirical look at psychiatry in the best-selling book, Is Sex Necessary? (1929), collaborating with his friend E.B. White.

Thurber said, "I do not have a psychiatrist and I do not want one, for the simple reason that if he listened to me long enough, he might become disturbed."

"He who hesitates is sometimes saved," Thurber said. "It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers."

One of the writer's most popular characters was Walter Mitty, the mild-mannered man who escaped the challenges of everyday life with heroic fantasies.

"I write humor the way a surgeon operates, because it is a livelihood, because I have a great urge to do it, because many interesting challenges are set up, and because I have the hope it may do some good," he said.

Laughter improves EVERYTHING.