Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Library of America Story of the Week Read-Along 50: James Thurber, A Box to Hide In (#77)

James Thurber, "A Box to Hide In" (1931) from James Thurber: Writings and Drawings:

This story is three short pages--not even three considering the large Thurber drawing in it--so I'll wait while you go read it.

Done now? Didn't you love the straightforward weirdness of the guy asking for a box to hide in? There's no beating around the bush here. And the way so much of page 2 and 3 revolve around the narrator's fantasy of what would happen when his cleaning lady found the box and died of shock when he laughed or barked inside it.

There's no story here; except for the little bit of weirdness the narrator shows, he's hardly a character. But here's a lesson from Thurber and Arrested Development: a character can be comedic if he sticks to his POV, no matter how strange that POV seems.

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