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Sunday, December 07, 2014

No High Volume

Guest Blogger Redux Dept.: A couple of days ago we stopped by James Thurber’s desk at the still-young New Yorker magazine, where he turned out unsigned “Talk of the Town” pieces. Identities are revealed in a more recently assembled index; thus it is that we can credit another such squib in the same issue, this one made notable by its implied characterization of Albany. True then; still true.


James Thurber
NOT LONG AGO a man of no little renown died, leaving a remarkable library. Many of his most desirable volumes were bequeathed to his wife; more, in fact, than she had room for in the modest home to which she removed. Accordingly, one of her first acts was to invite the brother of her late husband, who lives in Albany, to inspect the books and select whatever he wished for himself. He made an hour's investigation and finally approached his sister-in-law, bearing not a single treasure. When her raised eyebrows connoted surprise he explained. “I guess he didn’t have any books on home brew,” was the explanation. Then, thanking her just the same, he departed.

– James Thurber, The New Yorker,
24 December 1927

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