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“He’s such a generous spirit, you’d be embarrassed to behave in a small way around him.”

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source: describing writer George Saunders, in “George Saunders Has Written the Best Book You’ll Read This Year,” by Joel Lovell, New York Times Magazine, January 3, 2013.

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medium: Magazine profile

“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.

“It is quite obvious that the human race has made a queer mess of life on this planet. But as a people we probably harbor seeds of goodness that have lain for a long time, waiting to sprout when the conditions are right. Man’s curiosity, his relentlessness, his inventiveness, his ingenuity have led him into deep trouble. We can only hope that these same traits will enable him to claw his way out.”

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source: Letters of E. B. White, rev. edition edited by Martha White (New York: Harper Perennial, 2007), 596.

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medium: letter

notes: letter to Mr. Nadeau dated March 30, 1973

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