The 13 Clocks James Thurber Author I geb. 1894 (US) t 1961 First issue l 1950 Publisher I Simon & Schuster (New York) Orig. title I The 13 Clocks
This work contains all the ingredients for an exciting fairytale. A prince disguised as a ragged minstrel, a tragic princess held by an angry duke in a castle and a daring act that must be accomplished within an impossible timeframe. This limitation is extremely important in the story because the duke claims that he “killed” time, and the thirteen bells in the greenhouse stopped at ten minutes before five. The prince must find and offer a priceless treasure at the moment the clocks strike the hour. His only hope is Golux, a tiny wizard with a strange logic and an indescribable hat. The castle is a dangerous place, where huge metal guards patrol with a lot of noise and spies with velvet hats watch silently. Nightmare-like creatures lurk in the darkest corners of the deepest dungeons. Absurd accents worms playfully contrast with these horrors. Brightly colored balls unexpectedly bounce down the stairs - are ghosts of distant children playing above them? We also see elements of the parable: love conquers everything, time goes by and ad is always avenged. At the end, the og is chased by “a blob of slippage, which smells r old, unopened rooms and sounds like a nd rabbit”. The language is astonishingly inventive and the IDon wickedly ironic: characteristics of the most admired and controversial humorist of the first of the twentieth century. When Thurber wrote this book, his eyesight deteriorated rapidly. His descriptions of vague figures moving in shadows and his hallucinatory landscapes indicate that the author was very concerned with his approaching blindness.