Monday, July 11, 2016

Birthday: "I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day."

Elwyn Brooks White (1899-1985)
Journalist, Author
Staff Writer, editor, The New Yorker, 1927-1985
Columnist, Harper’s 1938-1943
Recipient, The Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1963
Recipient, The Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal, 1970
Fellow, The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1973
Recipient, The Pulitzer Prize, 1978

Books by E.B. White
The Lady is Cold – Poems by E. B. W. (1929)
Is Sex Necessary? Or, Why You Feel the Way You Do (1929, with James Thurber)
Alice Through the Cellophane, John Day (1933)
Subtreasury of American Humor (1941)
One Man's Meat (1942) A collection of his columns from Harper's Magazine.
The Wild Flag (1943)
Stuart Little (1945)
Here Is New York (1949)
Charlotte's Web (1952)
The Second Tree From The Corner (1954)
The Elements of Style (with William Strunk, Jr.) (1959, republished 1972, 1979, 1999, 2005)
The Points of My Compass (1962)
The Trumpet of the Swan (1970)
Letters of E.B. White (1976)
Essays of E.B. White (1977)
Poems and Sketches of E.B. White (1981)
Writings from "The New Yorker" (1990)
In the Words of E. B. White (2011)

From a remembrance of his stepfather, the writer Roger Angell recalls taking two visiting children to E. B White’s farm:

The girl asked which doorway might have been the one where Charlotte had spun her web, and she mentioned Templeton, the rat, and Fern, the little girl who befriends Wilbur. She was visiting a museum, I sensed, and she would remember things here to tell her friends about later. The boy, though, was quieter, and for a while I thought that our visit was a disappointment to him. Then I stole another look at him, and I understood. I think I understood. He was taking note of the place, almost checking off corners and shadows and smells to himself as we walked about the old farm, but he wasn’t trying to remember them. He looked like someone who had been there before, and indeed he had, for he was a reader. Andy White had given him the place long before he ever set foot on it—not this farm, exactly, but the one in the book, the one now in the boy’s mind. Only true writers—the rare few of them—can do this, but their deed to us is in perpetuity. The boy didn’t get to meet E. B. White that day, but he already had him by heart. He had him for good.”

Related sites:

Paris Review, “The Art of the Essay, No. 1”, Issue 48, Fall, 1969.
“Death of A Pig, The Atlantic, January, 1948
Herbert Mitgang, “E.B. White, Essayist and Stylist, Dies,” The New York Times, October 2, 1985

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