Family Reunion by Ogden Nash.
Published by Little, Brown and Company in 1950. First edition.
Jacket design by Barbara Corrigan
146 pages / 5.25 x 8.25 x .9 inches / 13.5 x 21 x 2.2 centimeters
Please see the images above for an accurate representation of what the book looks like (& ignore the blue-tinted photos - I need to retake those sometime soon), but...
Some small rips to the book jacket, as well as some creasing. A few very small pencil marks on back cover. Corner cut off book jacket inside front cover.
ON THE JACKET FLAPS -
Although it can hardly be said that Ogden Nash is a prophet without honor in his own country--he is too widely read, too hugely enjoyed to merit such a claim--it is interesting to get the English viewpoint on a poet who is so distinctly and uniquely American.
Thus the London Times sees Mr. Nash as "a most ingenious and amusing critic of frailty and absurdity." "It would be a mistake, however," the Times Literary Supplement goes on to say, "to think of him merely as a funny man; like James Thurber, he has a Democritean streak which entitles him to the respect due to a philosopher, albeit a laughing one. . . The vicissitudes and eccentricitudes of domestic life, as they affect a gentle, somewhat bewildered man of forty-five, are responsible for the vicissitudes and eccentricitudes of the form as well as the substance of his verses. Like a clown, he is most endearing when he is most deeply involved in them."
In his new book Ogden Nash is most deeply involved in the life of the family, which he defines as "a unit composed not only of children, but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold."
Some of the verses in Family Reunion may be familiar to the reader, but reprinted in their present context they take on new colors and fresh meanings. They are all parts of a single pattern. The surprising thing that this new collection reveals is how much Mr. Nash has always been concerned with the family and family life, how frequently the rare quality of tenderness tempers his acid wit.
"I have been a member of one family or another all my life," writes Mr. Nash. "I think families are interesting. Only in the family do we find the battle between the sexes raging concurrently with the battle between the generations. It fascinates me to note the various ways in which a husband can please or infuriate a wife and a wife can baffle or butter up a husband; I follow with delight the vacillations of both between pride and despair when facing their young; and I can sympathize with if not approve the attempts of the young to muscle in on such adult monopolies as interrupting, talking back, staying up late, and evading the issue.
"The result of this preoccupation with family relationships has been many verses scattered through several books over many years. I have here selected a group of those which, to my mind at least, seem still to stand up fairly firmly, by which I mean that the writer can read them without visibly wincing. Since I have taken full advantage of this chance to cut, whittle, and generally revise, the faults that remain must be ascribed to my current, not my youthful self. I hope that here and there in the collection a husband and wife may come across a line that will remind them of each other, and of what it is like to shepherd a child from diapers to driver's licence; and that any resasonably bright infant may gain an insight into a parent's mind that will enable him to adjust his tantrums to best effect."
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