"The time not to become a father is eighteen years before a world war."-E. B. White on fatherhood
"I was lucky to be born abnormal. It ran in the family."-on luck
"I would really rather feel bad in Maine than feel good anywhere else." -on Maine
"The English language is always sticking a foot out to trip a man."-on language
The author of Charlotte's Web and One Man's Meat, coauthor of The Elements of Style, and columnist for The New Yorker for almost half a century, E. B. White (1899-1985) is an American literary icon. Over the course of his career, White inspired generations of writers and readers with his essays (both serious and humorous), children's literature, and stylistic guidance.
In the Words of E. B. White offers readers a delightful selection of quotations, selected and annotated by his granddaughter and literary executor, Martha White. The quotations cover a wide range of subjects and situations, from Automobiles, Babies, Bees, City Life, and College to Spiders, Taxes, Weather, Work, and Worry. E. B. White comments on writing for children, how to tell a major poet from a minor one, and what to do when one becomes hopelessly mired in a sentence. White was apt to address the subject of security by speaking first about a Ferris wheel at the local county fair, or the subject of democracy from the perspective of roofing his barn and looking out across the bay-he had a gift for bringing the abstract firmly into the realm of the everyday. Included here are gems from White's books and essay collections, as well as bits from both published and unpublished letters and journals.
This is a book for readers and writers, for those who know E. B. White from his "Notes and Comment" column in The New Yorker, have turned to The Elements of Style for help in crafting a polished sentence, or have loved a spider's assessment of Wilbur as "Some Pig." This distillation of the wit, style, and humanity of one of America's most distinguished essayists of the twentieth century will be a welcome addition to any reader's bookshelf.
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Number of pages: 232
Weight: 425 g
Dimensions: 216 x 140 x 21 mm
"E. B. White is one of those writers you are liable to meet again and again in the course of a reading life, each time wearing a different expression. . . . Now all those Whites have been brought together in the pages of In the Words of E. B. White, an anthology of quotations edited by his granddaughter Martha White. In her introduction, Martha White offers an affectionate sketch of her grandfather's career, including her own memories of the 'lifelong sense of wonder' he brought to all his endeavors. . . . In the Words of E. B. White offers a perfect introduction, or reintroduction, to a writer truly in the American grain."-Adam Kirsch, Barnes & Noble Review (27 December 2011)
"Seasoned White fans will delight in this charming array of wit, and first-time readers are to be envied the pleasure of getting to know this remarkable writer. Highly recommended."-Choice
"Quoting E. B. White is the easiest way I know of to fool people into thinking that I am perceptive, witty, and wise."-Peter Behrens, author of The Law of Dreams
"Whether on sailing in Maine, on love, or the propriety of style, E. B. White had something elegant to say. But why read this blurb, when you can open any page of this collection as proof?"-Joseph Dane, author of Dogfish Memory: Sailing in Search of Old Maine
"I can smell the pines and sea of Maine and feel there is honesty all around me. In a time flooded with meaningless noise, E. B. White provides elemental truths with humor and style. To paraphrase the man himself, I would really rather feel bad reading E. B. White, than feel good reading anyone else."-Maira Kalman, illustrator of The Elements of Style Illustrated and author of The Pursuit of Happiness
"This is a valuable and delightful collection of quotations from the writings of E. B. White, certainly one of America's most distinctive and distinguished men of letters of the twentieth century."-Seth Lerer, Distinguished Professor of English, University of California, San Diego, author of Inventing English and Children's Literature: A Reader's History