Books: Bibulography

THURBER by BURTON BERNSTEIN 532 pages. Dodd, Mead. $15.

To some extent a great man can control his autobiographer. With biographers he must trust to luck, and James Thurber has not been lucky. A couple of years ago, an academician named Charles Holmes produced a solemn literary biography called The Clocks of Columbus, in which he discerned, for instance, three levels of language in the 2,500 words of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Now comes New Yorker Writer Burton Bernstein with a drink-by-drink analysis, or bibulography, of the humorist's sometimes agonizing life.

Holmes'...

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