Quotenik
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E. B. White

(1899–1985)

U.S. writer

“A home is like a reservoir equipped with a check valve: the valve permits influx but prevents outflow. Acquisition goes on night and day—smoothly, subtly, imperceptibly. I have no sharp taste for acquiring things, but it is not necessary to desire things in order to acquire them.”

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source: “Goodbye to Forty-Eighth Street,” in Essays of E. B. White (New York: Harper & Row, 1977), 4.

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medium: Essay

“It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer.”

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source: Charlotte’s Web (New York: HarperCollins, 2001), full color edition, 184.

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medium: fiction

via: Neil Steinberg

“The lambs had nursed and the ewe was lying quiet. One lamb had settled itself on the mother’s back and was a perfect miniature of the old one—they reminded me of a teapot we have, whose knob is a tiny replica of the pot itself.”

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source: “Spring,” in One Man’s Meat (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1944), 233.

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medium: essay

notes: White wrote this essay in April 1941.

“There is no word in the language for end-of-summer sadness, but the human spirit has a word for it and picks up the first sound of its approach.”

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source: “Cold Weather,” in One Man’s Meat (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1944), 349.

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medium: essay

notes: White wrote this essay in January 1943.

“A child who believes that every scratch needs to be painted with iodine has lost a certain grip on life which he may never regain, and has acquired a frailty of spirit which may unfit him for living.”

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source: “Sanitation,” in One Man’s Meat (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1944), 180.

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medium: essay

notes: White wrote this essay in September 1940.

“I think elm-birth is the prettiest fairy tale in the city’s wonderbook, for the big trees are delivered at night, when earth hangs down away from the light and fowls are stirring on their roosts. In all the long swing of time there has never been a fortnight such as this—these midnights when late strolling citizens come suddenly on a giant elm, arriving furtively in the marketplace and sliding into position for early risers to discover on their way to work.”

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source: “Education,” in One Man’s Meat (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1944), 57.

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medium: essay

notes: White wrote this essay in March 1939.

“The worm fattens on the apple, the young goose fattens on the wormy fruit, the man fattens on the young goose, the worm awaits the man.”

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source: “Cold Weather,” in One Man’s Meat (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1944), 345.

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medium: essay

notes: White wrote this essay in January 1943.

“After some years in the country, during which time I have experienced the satisfactions of working the land, building the soil, and making brown into green, I am beginning to believe that our new world which will open up after the war should be constructed round a repopulated rural America, so that a reasonably large proportion of the population shall participate in the culture of the earth.”

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source: “A Week in November,” in One Man’s Meat (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1944), 334.

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medium: essay

notes: White wrote this essay in November 1942.

“The way to learn to sail a big boat is first to sail a little one, because the little one is so much harder to manage. The same is true of udders. I can milk a sheep now, with her small cleverly concealed udder, and so I have no hesitancy about going on to a larger and more forthright bag.”

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source: “Getting Ready for a Cow,” in One Man’s Meat (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1944), 317.

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medium: essay

notes: White wrote this essay in September 1942.

“I do know for a fact that a man can’t know the quality of his home until he has lived in it a year or two; and until he knows its good and bad qualities how can he presume to go about remodeling it?”

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source: “Getting Ready for a Cow,” in One Man’s Meat (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1944), 316.

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medium: essay

notes: White wrote this essay in September 1942.

“I knew from the very first that some day there would be a cow here. One of the first things that turned up when we bought the place was a milking stool, an old one, handmade, smooth with the wax finish which only the seat of an honest man’s breeches can give to wood.”

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source: “Getting Ready for a Cow,” in One Man’s Meat (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1944), 315.

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medium: essay

notes: White wrote this essay in September 1942.

“The possession of a dog today is a different thing from the possession of a dog at the turn of the century, when one’s dog was fed on mashed potato and brown gravy and lived in a doghouse with an arched portal. Today a dog is fed on scraped beef and Vitamin B1 and lives in bed with you.”

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source: “Dog Training,” in One Man’s Meat (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1944), 199.

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medium: essay

notes: White wrote this essay in November 1940.

“I have half a notion to learn to make bread myself: I imagine it’s no harder than mixing a good Martini, and I might come to enjoy the work.”

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source: “Fro-Joy,” in One Man’s Meat (New York: Harper & Row, 1944), 137.

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medium: essay

notes: White wrote this essay in January 1940.

“The land, even though it has been mistreated, can still support the population—that we know. The question is whether the population has the temperament and the ingenuity to support the land—that is, to return its goodness, not just sap it.”

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source: “Farm Paper,” in One Man’s Meat (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1944), 145.

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medium: essay

notes: White wrote this essay in February 1940.

“When I am composed I feel no need of affiliating myself with anybody. There is a lot of the cat in me, and cats are not joiners.”

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source: “Compost,” in One Man’s Meat (New York: Harper & Row, 1944), 159.

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medium: essay

notes: White wrote this essay in June 1940.

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