E.B. White Quotations

E.B. White

A man who publishes his letters becomes a nudist -- nothing shields him from the world's gaze except his bare skin. A writer, writing away, can always fix himself up to make himself more presentable, but a man who has written a letter is stuck with it for all time.

Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it.

A poet dares be just so clear and no clearer... He unzips the veil from beauty, but does not remove it. A poet utterly clear is a trifle glaring.

Be obscure clearly.

Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time.

Genius is more often found in a cracked pot than in a whole one.

I am reminded of the advice of my neighbor. "Never worry about your heart till it stops beating."

I can only assume that your editorial writer tripped over the First Amendment and thought it was the office cat.

I see nothing in space as promising as the view from a Ferris wheel.

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

I wake up each morning determined to change the World and also to have one hell of a good time. Sometimes that makes planning the day a little difficult.

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.

Luck is not something you can mention in the presence of self-made men.

One of the most time-consuming things is to have an enemy.

Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.

Shocking writing is like murder: the questions the jury must decide are the questions of motive and intent.

Television should be our Lyceum, our Chautauqua, our Minsky's and our Camelot.

The critic leaves at curtain fall
To find, in starting to review it,
He scarcely saw the play at all
For starting to review it.

There is a period near the beginning of every man's life when he has little to cling to except his unmanageable dream, little to support him except good health, and nowhere to go but all over the place.

There is nothing more likely to start disagreement among people or countries than an agreement.

The siren south is well enough, but New York, at the beginning of March, is a hoyden we would not care to miss -- a drafty wench, her temperature up and down, full of bold promises and dust in the eye.

The world is full of people who have never, since childhood, met an open doorway with an open mind.

Thurber did not write the way a surgeon operates, he wrote the way a child skips rope, the way a mouse waltzes.

To perceive Christmas through its wrappings becomes more difficult with every year.

When I was a child people simply looked about them and were moderately happy; today they peer beyond the seven seas, bury themselves waist deep in tidings, and by and large what they see and hear makes them unutterably sad.

Writing is hard work and bad for the health.