My Face Robert Benchley Essays

My Face Robert Benchley Essays-87
Study thoroughly the works of Robert Benchley, and you will inevitably reach this conclusion.You will also be approaching him the wrong way, and mark yourself as impossibly dull and pedantic.

Study thoroughly the works of Robert Benchley, and you will inevitably reach this conclusion.You will also be approaching him the wrong way, and mark yourself as impossibly dull and pedantic.

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The common thread is that I will always try to be entertaining—sometimes thought-provoking, sometimes satirical or just plain silly, whatever seems appropriate to the topic, but always entertaining in some way.

I have a great love for the art of the written word, for humor, and for reading and writing essays.

My writing credits are varied—essays, books of fiction and non-fiction, stage plays, screenplays, stand-up and sketch comedy, news and features, poetry, music, cartoons, speeches, advertising and unusually literate grocery lists.

I can say that listening to improvised bedtime stories and reading a humorous autobiographical essay all by my very creative father when I was a boy, and later an essay called “My Face” by the great humorist Robert Benchley, were the sparks that made me want to become a writer.

Anyone can pick the stories he likes best, and usually does. She also needed a good swift clout on the side of the face." Or there's "Christmas afternoon, done in the manner, if not the spirit of Dickens." And there are the horrible little Benchley children in such selections as "Kiddie-Kar Travel" and "The Stranger Within Our Gates." Shakespeare, the opera, and the French language get theirs, in bitter doses.

And the good part about it is that nobody ever gets too excited about someone, else's opinion of Benchley; that is how he wrote, and that is why a hundred years from now people will still be saying, "Good old Benchley, they don't write like him these days." The one called "Family Life in America" is a satisfying parody of the American naturalistic school: "The street was covered with slimy mud. Bernice didn't work in the laundry but she wished that she did so the hot air would kill her. Sometimes a line stands out alone, like the crafty nostalgia of "It was April, long before Spring had really understood what was expected of her." Or the smooth unexpectedness of, "One evening I had been working late in my laboratory fooling round with some gin and other chemicals." A reviewer is tempted to say that here is some of the best of Benchley-ana, if he were not afraid that the master would descend from among the happier angels, and write off a little piece called "--Anas, Their Use and Function." The comprehensive resource for navigating the job search, composing strong resumes and cover letters, performing at interviews, using Harvard’s Campus Interview Program, and profiles from alumni in different industries.If the individual likes it snide, he can have it; if he likes it zany, it's here.Long, short, tall, reserved, stupid, odd, out-of-place, out-of-taste, all of them are here--almost ninety of them.I am also a supporter of strawberries, especially when dipped in dark chocolate.I have found that dipping almost anything in dark chocolate makes it better, even marginally edible things such as cardboard, foam rubber and gravel.This, of course, can be easily disproved by the fact that Nat, one of them, has chosen as fine and as funny a collection of Benchley stories as any the humorist himself collected and published in book form.Benchley's style, however, is a different matter indeed. Not that his stories are invariably that way, but a good part of them are. Exactly, or even generally, what I will write about is not something I care to pin down for I intend it to be whatever is on my mind at the moment I take on the chore of writing it. I hope to make it a place you will enjoy being from time to time as I post new essays.Please don’t ask me for a complete list or recipes.I suppose I should offer my essay-related writing credits at this point, a sort of resume to help you know where I’ve been and where I might be going with this blog. The very first (as opposed to merely “the first”) instance of my writing something that I can recall was at or before age eight in Philadelphia, sitting by the cesspool in my back yard trying to copy word for word Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter.” I was likely diverted from that ambitious task after a few sentences by the urge to play aggressively on the nearby swing set and find clever new ways to fall off and bleed.


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