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E.B.White

Writings from The New Yorker 1925–1976

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Here are 161 wise, witty, and spirited short pieces and essays by the inimitable E. B. White. Written for the New Yorker over a span of forty-nine years, they show White’s changing concerns and development as a writer. In matchless style White writes about everything from cicadas to Khrushchev, from Thoreau to hyphens, from academic freedom to lipstick, from New York garbagemen to the sparrow, from Maine to the space age, from the Constitution to Harold Ross and even the common cold.
White has been described by one critic as “our finest essayist,” and these short pieces and essays are classics to be read, savored, and read again. Also included are an Introduction and Selective Bibliography by Rebecca M. Dale.
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    Mina Litvinovahar citeretfor 4 år siden
    Some of the best writings of writers, it seems to us, were done before they actually thought of themselves as engaged in producing literature. Some of the best humor of humorists was produced before ever they heard the distant laughter of their multitudes. Probably what Mr. Anderson means, more specifically, is that life is apt to be translated most accurately by a person who sees it break through the mist at unexpected moments—a person who experiences sudden clear images. A writer, being conscientious, is always straining his eyes for this moment, peering ahead and around; consequently when the moment of revelation comes, his eyes are poppy and tired and his sensitized mind has become fogged by the too-frequent half-stimuli of imagined sight. No figure is more pitiful to contemplate than a novelist with a thousand-dollar advance from a publishing house and a date when the manuscript is due. He knows he must invite his soul, but he is compelled to add: “And don’t be late, soul!”
    Mina Litvinovahar citeretfor 4 år siden
    WE STROLLED UP TO Hunter College the other evening for a meeting of the New York Zoological Society. Saw movies of grizzly cubs, learned the four methods of locomotion of snakes, and were told that the Society has established a turtle blood bank. Medical men, it seems, are interested in turtle blood, because turtles don’t suffer from arteriosclerosis in old age. The doctors are wondering whether there is some special property of turtle blood that prevents the arteries from hardening. It could be, of course. But there is also the possibility that a turtle’s blood vessels stay in nice shape because of the way turtles conduct their lives. Turtles rarely pass up a chance to relax in the sun on a partly submerged log. No two turtles ever lunched together with the idea of promoting anything. No turtle ever went around complaining that there is no profit in book publishing except from the subsidiary rights. Turtles do not work day and night to perfect explosive devices that wipe out Pacific islands and eventually render turtles sterile. Turtles never use the word “implementation” or the phrases “hard core” and “in the last analysis.” No turtle ever rang another turtle back on the phone. In the last analysis, a turtle, although lacking know-how, knows how to live. A turtle, by its admirable habits, gets to the hard core of life. That may be why its arteries are so soft.
    Afterthought: It is worth noting that Chinese do not appear to suffer from arteriosclerosis nearly as much as do Occidentals, and Chinese are heavy eaters of terrapin. Maybe the answer is a double-barrelled one: we should all spend more time on a log in the sun and should eat more turtle soup. With a dash of sherry, of course.

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    HarperCollins Publishers
    HarperCollins
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