Friday, July 6, 2012

Essays of E.B. White, E.B. White

From Goodbye to Forty-eighth Street: For some weeks now I have been engaged in dispersing the contents of this apartment, trying to persuade hundreds of inanimate objects to scatter and leave me alone. It is not a simple matter. I am impressed by the reluctance of one's worldly goods to go out again into the world. 

Of course I've read E.B. White's children's books (Charlotte's Web, The Trumpet of the Swan, Stuart Little), but I'd never read his essays before, though I did know that he was a famous essayist. And I just loved his essays. Even more than the children's books. He's funny and witty, and he writes about interesting things. There's a quote on the back of the book of his about the essayist, "The essayist is a self-liberated man, sustained by the childish belief that everything he thinks about, everything that happens to him, is of general interest." That quote is kind of true, but it also demonstrates his writing style. I could definitely see the guy who wrote Charlotte's Web in his essays. He lived part of his life on a farm in Maine, and he tends to anthropomorphize his animals, something he (obviously) did in all three of his children's books. But his essays really are entertaining. Some topics are more interesting than others, but he writes about all of them very well. I particularly liked the essays about his farm and the various inhabitants of it. Also, some of his essays about the ridiculousness of various parts of government and administration were funny. For example, the way that snow plows always plow the road and pile the snow up right in front of everyone's driveways. It is very annoying, and it never helps anybody.

Read Essays of E.B. White:
  • if you like essays
  • if you like E.B. White
347 pages.
Outstanding Book That Will Stay On My Bookshelf For Rereading (jf I own it)!

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