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Quotations From E.B. (ELWYN BROOKS) WHITE


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  • One of the most time-consuming things is to have an enemy.
    E.B. (Elwyn Brooks) White (1899-1985), U.S. author, editor. (First published 1958). "A Report in January," Essays of E.B. White (1977).

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  • Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time.
    E.B. (Elwyn Brooks) White (1899-1985), U.S. author, editor. New Yorker (July 3, 1944).

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  • Shocking writing is like murder: the questions the jury must decide are the questions of motive and intent.
    E.B. (Elwyn Brooks) White (1899-1985), U.S. author, editor. Interview in Writers at Work, Eighth Series (1988).

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  • Deathlessness should be arrived at in a ... haphazard fashion. Loving fame as much as any man, we shall carve our initials in the shell of a tortoise and turn him loose in a peat bog.
    E.B. (Elwyn Brooks) White (1899-1985), U.S. author, editor. repr. in Writings from the New Yorker 1927-1976, ed. Rebecca M. Dale (1991). "Immortality," New Yorker (March 28, 1936).

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  • There is a period near the beginning of every man's life when he has little to cling to except his unmanageable dream, little to support him except good health, and nowhere to go but all over the place.
    E.B. (Elwyn Brooks) White (1899-1985), U.S. author, editor. (First published 1961). "The Years of Wonder," Essays of E.B. White (1977).

    Read more quotations about / on: dream, life
  • Heredity is a strong factor, even in architecture. Necessity first mothered invention. Now invention has little ones of her own, and they look just like grandma.
    E.B. (Elwyn Brooks) White (1899-1985), U.S. author, editor. repr. In Writings from the New Yorker 1927-1976, ed. Rebecca M. Dale (1991). "The Old and the New," New Yorker (June 19, 1937).
  • A good farmer is nothing more nor less than a handy man with a sense of humus.
    E.B. (Elwyn Brooks) White (1899-1985), U.S. author, editor. "The Practical Farmer," One Man's Meat (1944).
  • The siren south is well enough, but New York, at the beginning of March, is a hoyden we would not care to miss—a drafty wench, her temperature up and down, full of bold promises and dust in the eye.
    E.B. (Elwyn Brooks) White (1899-1985), U.S. author, editor. repr. In Writings from the New Yorker 1927-1976, ed. Rebecca M. Dale (1991). "New York in March," New Yorker (March 2, 1935).

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  • The terror of the atom age is not the violence of the new power but the speed of man's adjustment to it—the speed of his acceptance.
    E.B. (Elwyn Brooks) White (1899-1985), U.S. author, editor. "Notes on Our Time," The Second Tree from the Corner (1954).

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  • In middle life, the human back is spoiling for a technical knockout and will use the flimsiest excuse, even a sneeze, to fall apart.
    E.B. (Elwyn Brooks) White (1899-1985), U.S. author, editor. repr. in Writings from the New Yorker 1927-1976, ed. Rebecca M. Dale (1991). "Radiography," New Yorker (Feb. 24, 1951).

    Read more quotations about / on: life
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