Back to more important matters, like one more reason to adore James Thurber. The New York Times (*) reports on an anthology of Thurber letters–he wrote as many as 1,200 a year. “He could enchant. (To the John O’Haras: ‘I wonder if you are the same O’Haras I used to know? He was a tall handsome violinist and she was a moonlight serenade.’) He could gossip. (‘Charles Addams is now mixed up with a woman lawyer who bites him and is said to be handy with a knife when she’s mad.’) And of course he could skewer. (Re a Time magazine profile riddled with mistakes abut him: ‘This is a little like finding out that the injury you suffered in the Cornell-Pennsylvania game was actually syphilis.’)
How to write a tragedy in one line: “Saki wrote a dull novel.”
The Little Mag has a new translation of Manik Bandopadhyay’s Primal Passions.
“Welfare checks, they make you wealthy/ Medicaid, it keep you healthy/ And if you forward this to your employees when you’re tired/ Tomorrow the papers will tell you you’re fired.” Pity the former top emergency official in Arkansas who discovered the perils of chain mail the hard way.
More on Penguin India CEO David Davidar’s projected move to Canada; Naomi Klein on what he should expect there (“our newfound status as Hippie Nation”).
No links available just yet, but Publisher’s Lunch reports that Ruth Prawer Jhabvala will be coming out with her first novel in years. The last book I remember reading by her was a collection of short stories that didn’t completely absorb me. The novel is something I’d look forward to, though, especially after all these years.