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

Life is always a rich and steady time when you are waiting for something to happen or to hatch.

New York is the concentrate of art and commerce and sport and religion and entertainment and finance, bringing to a single compact arena the gladiator, the evangelist, the promoter, the actor, the trader and the merchant. No one should come to New York to live unless he is willing to be lucky.

Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.

Summertime, oh, summertime, pattern of life indelible, the fade-proof lake, the woods unshatterable, the pasture with the sweet fern and the juniper forever and ever . . . the cottages with their innocent and tranquil design, their tiny docks with the flagpole and the American flag floating against the white clouds in the blue sky, the little paths over the roots of the trees leading from camp to camp. This was the American family at play, escaping the city heat.

The grave in the woods is unmarked, but Fred can direct the mourner to it unerringly and with immense good will, and I know he and I shall often revisit it, singly and together, in seasons of reflection and despair, on flagless memorial days of our own choosing.

The United States, almost alone today, offers the liberties and the privileges and the tools of freedom. In this land the citizens are still invited to write their plays and books, to paint their pictures, to meet for discussion, to dissent as well as to agree, to mount soapboxes in the public square, to enjoy education in all subjects without censorship, to hold court and judge one another, to compose music, to talk politics with their neighbors without wondering whether the secret police are listening, to exchange ideas as well as goods, to kid the government when it needs kidding, and to read real news of real events instead of phony news manufactured by a paid agent of the state. This is a fact and should give every person pause.

This is the dream we had, asleep in our chair, thinking of Christmas in the lands of fir tree and pine, Christmas in lands of palm tree and vine, and of how the one great sky does for all places and all people. After the third great war was over (this was a curious dream), there was no more than a handful of people left alive, and the earth was in ruins and the ruins were horrible to behold. The people, the survivors, decided to meet to talk over their problem and to make a lasting peace, which is the customary thing to make after a long and exhausting war. There were eighty-three countries, and each country sent a delegate to the convention. One English-man came, one Peruvian, one Ethiopian, one Frenchman, one Japanese, and so on, until every country was represented.

We must always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.

Where I would like to discover facts, I find fancy. Where I would like to learn what I did, I learn only what I was thinking. They are loaded with opinion, moral thoughts, quick evaluations, youthful hopes and cares and sorrows. Occasionally they manage to report something in exquisite honesty and accuracy. That is why I have refrained from burning them.

Your whole duty as a writer is to please and satisfy yourself, and the true writer always plays to an audience of one.

Life is like writing with a pen. You can cross out your past but you can't erase it.

New York is to the nation what the white church spire is to the village - the visible symbol of aspiration and faith, the white plume saying the way is up.

Reading is the work of the alert mind, is demanding, and under ideal conditions produces finally a sort of ecstasy.

Surely the Board knows what democracy is. It is the line that forms on the right. It is the don?t in don?t shove. It is the hole in the stuffed shirt through which the sawdust slowly trickles; it is the dent in the high hat. Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half the people

The greatest dangers to liberty, said Mr. Brandeis, lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.

The value of the liberal in the republic is not that he is logical but that he is inquisitive.

This is what youth must figure out: Girls, love, and living. The having, the not having, the spending and giving, and the melancholy time of not knowing. This is what age must learn about: The ABC of dying. The going, yet not going, the loving and leaving, and the unbearable knowing and knowing.

We received a letter from the Writers' War Board the other day asking for a statement on "The Meaning of Democracy." It is presumably our duty to comply with such a request, and it is certainly our pleasure. Surely the Board knows what democracy is. It is the line that forms on the right. It is the don't in don't shove. It is the hole in the stuffed shirt through which the sawdust slowly trickles, the dent in the high hat. Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time. It is the feeling of privacy in the voting booths, the feeling of communion in the libraries, the feeling of vitality everywhere.

Why did you do all this for me?' he asked. 'I don't deserve it. I've never done anything for you.' 'You have been my friend,' replied Charlotte. 'That in itself is a tremendous thing.

You're terrific as far as I am concerned.

Life?s meaning has always eluded me and I guess it always will. But I love it just the same.

New York provides not only a continuing excitation but also a spectacle that is continuing.

Remember that writing is translation, and the opus to be translated is yourself.

Swamps where cedars grow and turtles wait on logs but not for anything in particular; fields bordered by crooked fences broken by years of standing still; orchards so old they have forgotten where the farmhouse is. In the north I have eaten my lunch in pastures rank with ferns and junipers, all under fair skies with a wind blowing.

The Herald Tribune headed the story, PRESIDENT SAYS PRAYER IS PART OF DEMOCRACY. The implication in such a pronouncement, emanating from the seat of government, is that religious faith is a condition, or even a precondition, of the democratic life.

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