My Life And Hard Times By James Thurber Pdf
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James Thurber was an American writer and artist. One of the most popular humorists writers of clever humor of his time, Thurber celebrated in stories and in cartoons the comic frustrations of eccentric yet ordinary people.
FP now includes eBooks in its collection. Book Details. Thurber's famous account of his early years in Columbus, Ohio.
Insert copy here, which should vary depending on your region. Here are listings with links about James Thurber books that are currently available, mostly from their publishers or reprint houses. A few are links to independent or used-book vendors where most of Thurber's books are available as collectible, used, or paperback editions. Collected Fables bookstore options. James Thurber was one of the finest humorists of the twentieth century and a crack cartoonist to boot.
James Thurber Biography
I suppose that the high-water mark of my youth in Columbus, Ohio, was the night the bed fell on my father. It makes a better recitation unless, as some friends of mine have said, one has heard it five or six times than it does a piece of writing, for it is almost necessary to throw furniture around, shake doors, and bark like a dog, to lend the proper atmosphere and verisimilitude to what is admittedly a somewhat incredible tale.
Still, it did take place. It happened, then, that my father had decided to sleep in the attic one night, to be away where he could think. There was no dissuading him, however, and at a quarter past ten he closed the attic door behind him and went up the narrow twisting stairs.
We later heard ominous creakings as he crawled into bed. Grandfather, who usually slept in the attic bed when he was with us, had disappeared some days before. We had visiting us at this time a nervous first cousin of mine named Briggs Beall, who believed that he was likely to cease breathing when he was asleep.
It was his feeling that if he were not awakened every hour during the night, he might die of suffocation. He had been accustomed to setting an alarm clock to ring at intervals until morning, but I persuaded him to abandon this.
He slept in my room and I told him that I was such a light sleeper that if anybody quit breathing in the same room with me, I would wake instantly. He tested me the first night—which I had suspected he would—by holding his breath after my regular breathing had convinced him I was asleep. I was not asleep, however, and called to him. This seemed to allay his fears a little, but he took the precaution of putting a glass of spirits of camphor on a little table at the head of his bed.
Briggs was not the only member of his family who had his crotchets. Old Aunt Clarissa Beall who could whistle like a man, with two fingers in her mouth suffered under the premonition that she was destined to die on South High Street, because she had been born on South High Street and married on South High Street. Then there was Aunt Sarah Shoaf, who never went to bed at night without the fear that a burglar was going to get in and blow chloroform under her door through a tube.
Please take it and do not use your chloroform, as this is all I have. She was confident that burglars had been getting into her house every night for forty years. The fact that she never missed anything was to her no proof to the contrary. She always claimed that she scared them off before they could take anything, by throwing shoes down the hallway. When she went to bed she piled, where she could get at them handily, all the shoes there were about her house.
In either case he would not respond to her tugging and pulling, so that presently she would arise, tiptoe to the door, open it slightly and heave a shoe down the hall in one direction and its mate down the hall in the other direction. Some nights she threw them all, some nights only a couple of pairs. But I am straying from the remarkable incidents that took place during the night that the bed fell on father. By midnight we were all in bed. The layout of the rooms and the disposition of their occupants is important to an understanding of what later occurred.
My brother Roy was in a room across the hall from ours. Our bull terrier, Rex, slept in the hall. My bed was an iron cot, one of those affairs which are made wide enough to sleep on comfortably only by putting up, flat with the middle section, the two sides which ordinarily hang down like the sideboards of a drop-leaf table. When these sides are up, it is perilous to roll too far toward the edge, for then the cot is likely to tip completely over, bringing the whole bed down on top of one with a tremendous banging crash.
Always a deep sleeper, slow to arouse I had lied to Briggs , I was at first unconscious of what had happened when the iron cot rolled me onto the floor and toppled over on me. It left me still warmly bundled up and unhurt, for the bed rested above me like a canopy. Hence I did not wake up, only reached the edge of consciousness and went back. The racket, however, instantly awakened my mother, in the next room, who came to the immediate conclusion that her worst dread was realized: the big wooden bed upstairs had fallen on father.
He thought that mother had become, for no apparent reason, hysterical. By this time I was conscious of what was going on, in a vague way, but did not yet realize that I was under my bed instead of on it. The room reeked of camphor.
He leaped out of bed and groped toward the open window, but he came up against one that was closed. With his hand, he beat out the glass, and I could hear it crash and tinkle in the alleyway below.
It was at this juncture that I, in trying to get up, had the uncanny sensation of feeling my bed above me! Foggy with sleep, I now suspected, in my turn, that the whole uproar was being made in a frantic endeavor to extricate me from what must be an unheard-of and perilous situation. Her frantic pulls on it only added to the general banging and confusion. Roy and the dog were now up, the one shouting questions, the other barking.
Father, farthest away and soundest sleeper of all, had by this time been awakened by the battering on the attic door. He decided that the house was on fire. I found at last the light switch in my room, unlocked the door, and Briggs and I joined the others at the attic door.
The dog, who never did like Briggs, jumped for him—assuming that he was the culprit in whatever was going on—and Roy had to throw Rex and hold him. We could hear father crawling out of bed upstairs. Roy pulled the attic door open, with a mighty jerk, and father came down the stairs, sleepy and irritable but safe and sound.
My Life and Hard Times Summary & Study Guide
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Published by Hamilton. Written in English. Life is full of seasons of hard times. Today I want to share some verses and how I would turn these verses into prayers for strength in difficult times. You were created for a life of abundance and joy in the Father, but unfortunately, in this life we have troubles. Hard Times is a "canonical text. It's one of those books that's considered fundamental to the development of Western civilization.
I suppose that the high-water mark of my youth in Columbus, Ohio, was the night the bed fell on my father. It makes a better recitation unless, as some friends of mine have said, one has heard it five or six times than it does a piece of writing, for it is almost necessary to throw furniture around, shake doors, and bark like a dog, to lend the proper atmosphere and verisimilitude to what is admittedly a somewhat incredible tale. Still, it did take place.
Writer and cartoonist James Thurber drawing with the aid of a magnifying loupe. Reprinted with permission from the Hartford Courant. Ravin JG. James Thurber and the Problems of Sympathetic Ophthalmia.