Wednesday, December 13, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

E. B. White (Elwyn Brooks) (1899 – 1985)


American essayist, columnist, poet and editor.
E. B. White (Elwyn Brooks)
One of the most time-consuming things is to have an enemy.
White quotes
I have occasionally had the exquisite thrill of putting my finger on a little capsule of truth, and heard it give the faint squeak of mortality under my pressure.
White
It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.




Children are demanding. They are the most attentive, curious, eager, observant, sensitive, quick, and generally congenial readers on earth. They accept, almost without question, anything you present them with, as long as it is presented honestly, fearlessly, and clearly.
White E. B. (Elwyn Brooks)
I am always humbled by the infinite ingenuity of the lord, who can make a red barn cast a blue shadow.
A man who publishes his letters becomes a nudist — nothing shields him from the world's gaze except his bare skin. A writer, writing away, can always fix things up to make himself more presentable, but a man who has written a letter is stuck with it for all time.
E. B. White (Elwyn Brooks)
If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.
"It's broccoli, dear."
"I say it's spinach, and I say the hell with it."
White
The future, wave or no wave, seems to me no unified dream but a mince pie, long in the baking, never quite done.
White E. B. (Elwyn Brooks)
I am a member of a party of one, and I live in an age of fear. Nothing lately has unsettled my party and raised my fears so much as your editorial, on Thanksgiving Day, suggesting that employees should be required to state their beliefs in order to hold their jobs. The idea is inconsistent with our constitutional theory and has been stubbornly opposed by watchful men since the early days of the Republic.
E. B. White (Elwyn Brooks)
All poets who, when reading from their own works, experience a choked feeling, are major. For that matter, all poets who read from their own works are major, whether they choke or not.




I discovered, though, that once having given a pig an enema there is no turning back, no chance of resuming one of life's more stereotyped roles.
E. B. White (Elwyn Brooks)
Security, for me, took a tumble not when I read that there were Communists in Hollywood but when I read your editorial in praise of loyalty testing and thought control. If a man is in health, he doesn't need to take anybody else's temperature to know where he is going.
White quotes
Government is the thing. Law is the thing. Not brotherhood, not international cooperation, not security councils that can stop war only by waging it... Where does security lie, anyway — security against the thief, a bad man, the murderer? In brotherly love? Not at all. It lies in government.
White E. B. (Elwyn Brooks)
A despot doesn't fear eloquent writers preaching freedom—he fears a drunken poet who may crack a joke that will take hold.
When you consider that there are a thousand ways to express even the simplest idea, it is no wonder writers are under a great strain. Writers care greatly how a thing is said — it makes all the difference. So they are constantly faced with too many choices and must make too many decisions.
I am still encouraged to go on. I wouldn't know where else to go.
E. B. White (Elwyn Brooks)
Advertisers are the interpreters of our dreams — Joseph interpreting for Pharaoh. Like the movies, they infect the routine futility of our days with purposeful adventure. Their weapons are our weaknesses: fear, ambition, illness, pride, selfishness, desire, ignorance. And these weapons must be kept as bright as a sword.
In order to read one must sit down, usually indoors. I am restless and would rather sail a boat than crack a book. I've never had a very lively literary curiosity, and it has sometimes seemed to me that I am not really a literary fellow at all. Except that I write for a living.
E. B. White (Elwyn Brooks)
Ideally, a book of letters should be published posthumously. The advantages are obvious: the editor enjoys a free hand, and the author enjoys a perfect hiding place — the grave, where he is impervious to embarrassments and beyond the reach of libel. I have failed to cooperate with this ideal arrangement. Through some typical bit of mismanagement, I am still alive, and the book has had to adjust to that awkward fact.
White E. B. (Elwyn Brooks)
New York is part of the natural world. I love the city, I love the country, and for the same reasons. The city is part of the country. When I had an apartment on East Forty-Eighth Street, my backyard during the migratory season yielded more birds than I ever saw in Maine.


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