E. B. White, fully Elwyn Brooks White

E. B.
White, fully Elwyn Brooks White
1899
1985

American Humorist,Essayist, Book Author including Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little

Author Quotes

The thing ['Bedfellows'] didn't come out as clear as I would have liked, but nothing I write ever does.

There?s something about north, he said, something that sets it apart from all other directions. A person who is heading north is not making any mistake, in my opinion. That?s the way I look at it, said Stuart. I rather expect that from now on I shall be traveling north until the end of my days.

Walden is the report of a man torn by two powerful and opposing drives ? the desire to enjoy the world and the urge to set the world straight.

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.

You must try to build yourself up. I want you to get plenty of sleep, and stop worrying. Never hurry and never worry! Chew your food thoroughly and eat every bit of it, except you must leave just enough for Templeton. Gain weight and stay well?that?s the way you can help. Keep fit, and don?t lose your nerve. Do you think you understand?

Just the minute another person is drawn into some one's life, there begin to arise undreamed-of complexities, and from such a simple beginning as sexual desire we find built up such alarming yet familiar phenomena as fetes, divertissements, telephone conversations, arrangements, plans, sacrifices, train arrivals, meetings, appointments, tardiness, delays, marriages, dinners, small pets and animals, calumny, children, music lessons, yellow shades for the windows, evasions, lethargy, cigarettes, candies, repetition of stories and anecdotes, infidelity, ineptitude, incompatibility, bronchial trouble, and many others, all of which are entirely foreign to the original urge and way off the subject.

Never hurry and never worry!

Our vegetable garden is coming along well, with radishes and beans up, and we are less worried about revolution that we used to be.

Straddled the knot, so that it acted as a seat. Then you got up all your nerve, took a deep breath, and jumped. For a second you seemed to be falling to the barn floor far below, but then suddenly the rope would begin to catch you, and you would sail through the barn door going a mile a minute, with the wind whistling in your eyes and ears and hair. Then you would zoom upward into the sky, and look up at the clouds, and the rope would twist and

The first day of spring was once the time for taking the young virgins into the fields, there in dalliance to set an example in fertility for nature to follow. Now we just set the clocks an hour ahead and change the oil in the crankcase.

The time not to become a father is eighteen years before a war.

There's no limit to how complicated things can get, on account of one thing always leading to another.

Walk the Bowery under the El at night and all you feel is a sort of cold guilt. Touched for a dime, you try to drop the coin and not touch the hand, because the hand is dirty; you try to avoid the glance, because the glance accuses. This is not so much personal menace as universal ? the cold menace of unresolved human suffering and poverty and the advanced stages of the disease alcoholism.

When you say something, make sure you have said it. The chances of your having said it are only fair.

You?ll miss your freedom.

Just to live in the country is a full-time job. You don't have to do anything. The idle pursuit of making a living is pushed to one side, where it belongs, in favor of living itself, a task of such immediacy, variety, beauty, and excitement that one is powerless to resist its wild embrace.

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.

People are, if anything, more touchy about being thought silly than they are about being thought unjust.

Stuart rose from the ditch, climbed into his car, and started up the road that led toward the north...As he peeked ahead into the great land that stretched before him, the way seemed long. But the sky was bright, and he somehow felt he was headed in the right direction.

The future, wave or no wave, seems to me no unified dream but a mince pie, long in the baking, never quite done.

The trend toward the ownership of land by fewer and fewer individuals is, it seems to me, a disastrous thing. For when too large a proportion of the populace is supporting itself by the indirections of trade and business and commerce and art and the million schemes of men in cities, then the complexity of society is likely to become so great as to destroy its equilibrium, and it will always be out of balance in some way. But if a considerable portion of the people are occupied wholly or partially in labors that directly supply them with many things that they want, or think they want, whether it be a sweet pea or a sour pickle, then the public poise will be a good deal harder to upset.

Third, there is the New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something. Of these three trembling cities the greatest is the last--the city of final destination, the city that is a goal. It is this third city that accounts for New York's high-strung disposition, its poetical deportment, its dedication to the arts, and its incomparable achievements. Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness; natives give it solidity and continuity; but the settlers give it passion.

We grow tyrannical fighting tyranny. . . . The most alarming spectacle today is not the spectacle of the atomic bomb in an unfederated world, it is the spectacle of the Americans beginning to accept the device of loyalty oaths and witch hunts, beginning to call anybody they don't like a Communist.

When your stomach is empty and your mind is full, it?s always hard to sleep.

Your essays spoke of beauty, of love, of light and darkness, of joy and sorrow, and of the goodness of life. They were wonderful compositions. I have seldom read any that have touched me more. To thank you and your teacher Mrs. Ellis, I am sending you what I think is one of the most beautiful and miraculous things in the world?an egg. I have a goose named Felicity and she lays about forty eggs every spring. It takes her almost three months to accomplish this. Each egg is a perfect thing. I am mailing you one of Felicity's eggs. The insides have been removed?blown out?so the egg should last forever. I hope you will enjoy seeing this great egg and loving it. Thank you for sending me your essays about being somebody. I was pleased that so many of you felt the beauty and goodness of the world. If we feel that when we are young, then there is great hope for us when we grow older.

Author Picture
First Name
E. B.
Last Name
White, fully Elwyn Brooks White
Birth Date
1899
Death Date
1985
Bio

American Humorist,Essayist, Book Author including Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little