Review: As a child, Thurber used to visualize figures of speech as literal. A man who left town "under a cloud" literally went from town to town under a cloud. Can you imagine his visualization of the woman who was "all ears"? And his essay concludes with the visitor who was "crying her heart out" as young Thurber searched her room for her heart for fifteen minutes.
The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present. Ed. Phillip Lopate. New York: Anchor Books. 1995.