Rock-Legend Janice Joplin...and Her Great Pyrenees She Named "Thurber"
A new biography of the husky, explosive, inimitable singer Janice Joplin (1943 – 1970), the premier blues singer of the 1960s, was a dog person. And a reader! And he spent her last year with a "moveable snowdrift," a Great Pyr, she'd named "Thurber" after her favorite American writer.
James himself was no stranger to the breed. Dearest friend, Rose Algrant, raised these enormous, independent beauties. The Great Pyr was a part of the art world that Rose gathered in her West Cornwall, CT, home...artists that included illustrator Marc Simont who created images for Thurber's The Wonderful O, Many Moons, and The 13 Clocks.
Jonathan Lethem, A Consummate Fan, Reads a Favorite Short Story by Thurber
Here's a link to the New Yorker site where Jonathan Lethem Reads Thurber's "The Wood Duck," in a podcast with fiction editor Deborah Treisman. Originally published in 1936, it's one of the early stories that's less humorous than just handsomely and shrewdly observed by Thurber, a consummate animal person.
"Touché!" And Three More Direct Hits!
This is the original version of one of Thurber's best-known New Yorker cartoons. As Thurber liked to tell the story, "This drawing ('Touché!') was originally done...by Carl Rose, caption and all. Mr. Rose is a realistic artist, and his gory scene distressed the editors, who hate violence. They asked Rose if he would let me have the idea, since there is obviously no blood to speak of in the people I draw. Rose graciously consented. No one who looks at 'Touché!' believes that the man whose head is in the air is really dead. His opponent will hand it back to him with profuse apologies...."
A Feature Article on the Exhibit at the Columbus Museum of Art
"The Secret Life of James Thurber," which appears in 614 Magazine.
Thurber's classic book of his selected works has remained in print since 1945. What we just discovered was that the original title—the title that appeared on the title page of the advanced reading copy—had the title "The Thurber Merry-Go-Round." Thanks to collector Jay Hoster for sharing this find.
1943, Peter DeVries Writes About Thurber in Poetry
Thurber's famous flying horse logo for Poetry was created at the request of Devries, but didn't make its debut on the cover until the 1960s. The two men of letters struck up a friendship that endured until the end of Thurber's life. This article in Poetry is certainly one that takes Thurber's work into a most academic light, comparing his "middle-age man on a flying trapeze" to T. S. Eliot's classic figure, J. Alfred Prufrock.