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E.B. White quotes (showing 1-30 of 335)

“If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But 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.”
E.B. White
“Why did you do all this for me?' he asked. 'I don't deserve it. I've never done anything for you.' 'You have been my friend,' replied Charlotte. 'That in itself is a tremendous thing.”
E.B. White, Charlotte's Web
“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”
E.B. White
“It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer.”
E.B. White, Charlotte's Web
“All that I hope to say in books, all that I ever hope to say, is that I love the world.”
E.B. White
“A library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy, for there, in a book, you may find encouragement and comfort. A library is a good place to go when you feel bewildered or undecided, for there, in a book, you may have your question answered. Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people - people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book."

[Letters of Note; Troy (MI, USA) Public Library, 1971]”
E.B. White
“Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.”
E.B. White
“After all, what's a life, anyway? We're born, we live a little while, we die.”
E.B. White, Charlotte's Web
“I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.”
E.B. White, Letters of E. B. White
“You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what's a life, anyway? We're born, we live a little while, we die. A spider's life can't help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone's life can stand a little of that.”
E.B. White, Charlotte's Web
“I am pessimistic about the human race because it is too ingenious for its own good. Our approach to nature is to beat it into submission. We would stand a better chance of survival if we accommodated ourselves to this planet and viewed it appreciatively, instead of skeptically and dictatorially.”
E.B. White
“A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word to paper.”
E.B. White
“Wilbur never forgot Charlotte. Although he loved her children and grandchildren dearly, none of the new spiders ever quite took her place in his heart. She was in a class by herself. It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.”
E.B. White, Charlotte's Web
“Genius is more often found in a cracked pot than in a whole one.”
E.B. White
“I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult.”
E.B. White
“What do you mean less than nothing? I don't think there is any such thing as less than nothing. Nothing is absolutely the limit of nothingness. It's the lowest you can go. It's the end of the line. How can something be less than nothing? If there were something that was less than nothing, then nothing would not be nothing, it would be something - even though it's just a very little bit of something. But if nothing is nothing, then nothing has nothing that is less than it is.”
E.B. White, Charlotte's Web
“Trust me, Wilbur. People are very gullible. They'll believe anything they see in print.”
E.B. White, Charlotte's Web
“Writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar.”
E.B. White
“One of the most time-consuming things is to have an enemy.”
E.B. White, Essays of E.B. White
“Explaining a joke is like dissecting a frog. You understand it better but the frog dies in the process.”
E.B. White
“Never hurry and never worry!”
E.B. White, Charlotte's Web
“I am reminded of the advice of my neighbor. "Never worry about your heart till it stops beating. ”
E.B. White
“There are roughly three New Yorks. There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born here, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size and its turbulence as natural and inevitable. Second, there is the New York of the commuter — the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night. Third, there is the New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something.
...Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness; natives give it solidity and continuity; but the settlers give it passion. ”
E.B. White, Here Is New York
“Writing is both mask and unveiling.”
E.B. White
“The world is full of people who have never, since childhood, met an open doorway with an open mind.”
E.B. White
“Be obscure clearly.”
E.B. White
“I admire anybody who has the guts to write anything at all.”
E.B. White
“Semi-colons only prove that the author has been to college.”
E.B. White
“I see nothing in space as promising as the view from a Ferris wheel.”
E.B. White, The Points Of My Compass
“This is what youth must figure out:
Girls, love, and living.
The having, the not having,
The spending and giving,
And the meloncholy time of not knowing.

This is what age must learn about:
The ABC of dying.
The going, yet not going,
The loving and leaving,
And the unbearable knowing and knowing”
E.B. White
tags: death

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