Thursday, January 08, 2009

Kindred Spirit

While blogging may be relatively new, other forms of short form writing are not. From Pepys to the present, literature has been big on the small, so to speak. Last weekend, while rummaging through the local antique stores, I found a volume of Robert Benchley's essays- After 1903- What? -illustrated by the Aubrey Beardsley-influenced Gluyas Williams.

Benchley, a member of the Algonquin Round Table, wrote short pieces for The New Yoker and other publications and also had a brief career in the movies. These articles portray a mild-mannered man, often bewildered and amused by the world around him. His two or three page ruminations would make for a perfect blog, especially when complemented by Gluyas' sublime drawings.

The older I get the more I realize that a man is a fool to think of himself in first person. With the world changing as it is, there are only second-person plurals.
I could go on looking at life like this forever, just a-sittin' and a-dreamin', with only an occasional attack of nausea.

By Professor Batty


Blogger Darien Fisher-Duke said...

This reminds me of one of my very favorite authors, who may or may not have been a member of the Round Table--at least, his editor, Harold Ross, was. James Thurber's short stories are as fine as they come. His collection, My Life and Hard Times, is one of my favorite books ever, and I've read it dozens of times.And the illustrations, by Thurber, are wonderful too!

One of the top things on my list for my next visit to New York is to go by The Algonquin Hotel and see the room where they met...

Blogger Professor Batty said...

Puppy biscuit.

Blogger Professor Batty said...

I believe the room is gone, and Thurber wasn't a member. A must-see is the film Mrs. Parker and the Viscious Circle.

Blogger Darien Fisher-Duke said...

Boy, am I disappointed. Are you sure? Positive? ;-)

Puppy biscuit...yes, kind of reminds me :-(

Blogger Professor Batty said...

The Wikipedia says it was remodeled in 1998:

and the movie title was Vicious circle, not viscious

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