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.


Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!