My Face Robert Benchley Essays

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Oddly enough it is quite unnecessary to know anything about Benchley the Man.

Perhaps some might delve into his life and find that his children were all either congenital idiots or monsters.

Such is the effect of the searchlight that is the written word, and such, for better or worse, is the power of the writer.

For my undergraduate college newspaper, I wrote a weekly humor column called “Cooper’s World” about whatever was on my mind with the only goal of making my classmates laugh to the point tears, chronic abdominal pain and hives.

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.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.Humor, and especially Benchley's humor, has no commonly accepted high point.The preamble can be as funny as the punch line, if there is any, and each story is up to the individual.” (Writers live for moments like that.) I wondered what I was like too.I have also written humorous essays for literary journals, magazines, the Houston Chronicle, and some to read before live café and college audiences and on radio and television as a founding member of a literary/comedy/musical performance group called “The Writer Guys” during a wonderfully creative period of my life.


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