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Writings from The New Yorker 1927-1976

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  476 ratings  ·  27 reviews
A delightful, witty, spirited collection of short pieces and essays by the inimitable E. B. White.
Paperback, 264 pages
Published December 12th 2006 by Harper Perennial (first published 1990)
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The cover of this book refers to E.B. White as "inimitable," which is a word just vague enough in meaning to the modern ear to suggest the author is venerable and quaint. I couldn't have chosen a better term. While a fair number of these short pieces are pointed and political, all have the tone of a high-brow dinner party among close friends -- strong convictions softened by a pleasant cadence and linguistic etiquette. It is hard to imagine a time when busy New Yorkers opened their magazines to ...more
Nov 08, 2008 Tony rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: essays
White, E. B. WRITINGS FROM THE NEW YORKER: 1927-1976. (1990). ****. These writings, edited by Rebecca M. Dale, are from the anonymous “Notes and Comments,” and “Talk of the Town” sections of the magazine that the editor identified as White’s work. This is a mixed bag of topics and tones that you can see changing over the years as White seemed to mellow out. The editor has arranged these pieces into the following topics: Nature, The Word, Thoreau, Liberty, Maine, One World, etc. All of the pieces ...more
It's all good--too much all at once. The essays--essayettes, really--on nature, New York, and Maine tend to be the best. White on Thoreau is best of all:

"He got a reputation for being a naturalist, and he was not much of a naturalist. He got a reputation for being a hermit, and he was no hermit. He was a writer, is what he was."

"'Walden' is so indigestible that many hungry people abandon it because it makes them mildly sick, each sentence being an anchovy spread, and the whole thing too salty a
Feb 23, 2010 Phoebe rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Kezia, Lisa, Louise, Bob, Vern
Pithy, brief essays on all manner of topics, from his beloved Maine, to Thoreau (very funny) to Science to The Academic Life, all originally published in the New Yorker. What is there to say except that White was quite a thinker, and this collection gives me renewed appreciation for his incredible versatility as a writer both for children and adults. A marvelous book, deliciously intelligent and intellectual, and meant to be savored and shared out loud.
None of the pieces in this book are longer than a few pages. Most are only a page, or even only a paragraph. This is just the right size for a literary nightcap or an introspective moment. I've nursed this collection for nearly a year, and now I've turned the last page. What shall I do? I imagine a year or two from now I'll have forgotten so many details that I'll decide to read it afresh.

In the meanwhile, I have bookmarked one of the one-paragraph essays from 1936, because it comforts me to kno
Sweetman Sweetman
Dec 03, 2009 Sweetman Sweetman rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Sweetman by: found the compilation finally!
Shelves: classics, influential
I can not get enough of E.B White lately. His writing is simple, clear and so funny. He is my flavor-of-the-month right now and he's moving on up as one of my all time favorites. Here's an example:

The plant-patent business is taking right hold, apparently. We know a man who received a birthday present of a nice little azalea. Tied around the azalea's stem, like a chastity belt, was a metal tag from Bobbink & Atkins, reading, "Asexual reproduction of this plant is illegal
Fenixbird SandS
Aug 25, 2010 Fenixbird SandS marked it as to-read
Recommends it for: New Yorker's + their pals; historians
Recommended to Fenixbird by: Amazon
Quoting page 1: '"Thoroughly American and utterly beautiful," is how William Shawn, E. B. White's editor at the "New Yorker", described his prose. At the magazine White developed a pure, and plain-spoken literary style; his writing was characterized by wit, sophistication, optimism and moral steadfastness. For his contribution to American letters, Mr. White was awarded the National Medal for Literature, a Presidential Medal of Freedom, and membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters. ...more
Josephine Ensign
This was a good travel book for episodic, interrupted reading. I liked the 'Body and Mind' section the most. The New Yorker's policy that he write using the 'we' instead of 'I' makes for some insanely awkward passages.
I question Ive had about writing many times is, "How long should a piece be?" There are the traditional forms, essays, short stories, and novels, etc., however, what if what you have to say is a simple comment or observation that requires less than 500 words to do justice to? Is it worth writing at all?

This collection of short writings by E.B. White goes a long ways towards answering that. The vast majority of the writings in this book were used as filler, a few hundred words to fill space in th
This gem my grandmother actually recommended to me and I love it. It's White like you've never read him before, but it's definitely not at all surprising or shocking. I think it's basically what you would expect his opinions and thoughts to be on everything from the weather to politics-- quite charming, and funny in a dry humor sort of way. I LOVE how he refers to himself in the 3rd person and I can't wait for the day when I am old enough, intelligent enough, or have just had my literary license ...more
Mike Violano
I picked up this book 20 years ago but have never stopped reading or re-reading the articles. While some tell tales of times and places long ago many are as fresh and current as today. White is one of the truly great writers and his words (always well chosen) enchant and illuminate even when they are about the most ordinary things. If he were alive today, I suspect his blog would be the most widely read read and visited in the internet town.
I read the book straight through and enjoyed every second of it. I recommend buying it, so you can savor every essay and re-read the best of them again and again. I so wish that Mr. White were still alive and writing. I would love to hear what he makes of today's world. All of the wisdom and joy in living evident in his children's books also appears in his writings for adults.
Laura-nassidesa Eschbaugh
I discovered this writer by accident, a pleasant wonderful reading accident. A small snippet was quoted and it led to this book.
He writes about everyday things, New York, the world. His words are an echo of the past but still relevant today.

This book ends with an Obit on JFK - but it is only one gem - in a book of treasures

I loved this one ... as much as I love Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little, I think I like White's writing for adults even more. This book is intelligent, funny, touching and makes you feel smarter and better for reading it. Nice bite sized articles perfect for coffee break or before bed. Very highly recommended!
Christopher Sutch
These short pieces White did for the New Yorker are little capsules of his style, wit, humor and intelligence. My favorites were the piece in which he explains to an irate Sen. Joseph McCarthy why Thoreau was not un-American, and White's interview with a sparrow outside Central Park.
Tress Huntley

What a great find this was! White was a sharp, witty guy. I even want to revisit Thoreau now, which is saying something. Looking forward to more essays.
I kept wanting to like this more than I did. Yes, there are a couple of excellent essays/articles, but overall, I found his writing to be ... hmmm .... boring.
Whitney Archibald
Beautiful, pithy gems from one of my all-time favorite authors. I frequently laughed out loud, and annoyed many people by reading excerpts.
Lovely, insightful, and very brief pieces from E.B. White, arranged by topic and chronology. The man can write.
Cj Rey
Reading this is part of my quest to read everything EBW wrote.

I just love the way he writes.
Seamus Burke
EB White is the most original thinker and sharpest writer of the last century. Must read.
Great stuff. Funny. Quick. He helped define The New Yorker magazine's style.
I came this for the Christmas Greetings and stayed for everything else.
Craig M.
I recommend everyone take a dose of White everyday with breakfast.
Father's Day gift for reading at the Ozark cabin
reading e.b. white is always such a joy
图书馆难得初版初印 <3
Stephanie Stephenson
Stephanie Stephenson marked it as to-read
Oct 08, 2015
فراس اسلام
فراس اسلام marked it as to-read
Oct 03, 2015
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Elwyn Brooks White was a leading American essayist, author, humorist, poet and literary stylist and author of such beloved children's classics as Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, and The Trumpet of the Swan. He graduated from Cornell University in 1921 and, five or six years later, joined the staff of The New Yorker magazine. He authored over seventeen books of prose and poetry and was elected to t ...more
More about E.B. White...
Charlotte's Web Stuart Little The Trumpet of the Swan Here Is New York Three Beloved Classics by E. B. White: Charlotte's Web/the Trumpet of the Swan/Stuart Little

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“A schoolchild should be taught grammar--for the same reason that a medical student should study anatomy. Having learned about the exciting mysteries of an English sentence, the child can then go forth and speak and write any damn way he pleases.” 18 likes
“The so-called science of poll-taking is not a science at all but mere necromancy. People are unpredictable by nature, and although you can take a nation's pulse, you can't be sure that the nation hasn't just run up a flight of stairs, and although you can take a nation's blood pressure, you can't be sure that if you came back in twenty minutes you'd get the same reading. This is a damn fine thing.” 14 likes
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