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Essays of E. B. White (Perennial Classics) (original 1977; edition 1999)

by E. B. White

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Title:Essays of E. B. White (Perennial Classics)
Authors:E. B. White
Info:Harper Perennial Modern Classics (1999), Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library, To read
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Essays of E.B. White by E. B. White (1977)

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Polished gems crowning the New Yorker magazine at its literary apogee. ( )
  schmicker | Apr 19, 2014 |
E.B. White is one of those authors who I just can't help but find interesting, for one reason or another. Sometimes his writing just hits the spot; sometimes he brings me a good solid belly-laugh like very few writers can; sometimes he makes me cry. The essays collected here had all of those effects, at various points.

Whether he's writing about packing an apartment ("Good-bye to Forty-Eighth Street"), watching a raccoon descend a tree ("Coon Tree"), the lives and deaths of geese ("The Geese) or about the state of the political world ("Bedfellows," "Sootfall and Fallout," "Unity), White's prose just crackles with an energy and a brilliance that few writers can command. At times he uses his powers to amuse, at others to provoke, at still others, it seems, simply to muse.

A book to enjoy at leisure, so that you can savor each well-chosen word and turn of phrase. ( )
  JBD1 | Dec 12, 2013 |
Amazon preorder,Amazon received
  romsfuulynn | Apr 28, 2013 |
Time has not been kind to these essays. That isn't to say that the subjects are out of date (they aren't, or at least, the essays can be read and enjoyed as a part of their time) nor that the themes are not relevant. Nor is it to say that they are not well written. White's craftsmanship as a writer is highly visible, and every aspiring writer would do well to look at the way sentences are constructed, images are built, and words are chosen (to name just a few of the lessons) in order to learn about the craft.

No, the reason time has not been kind is that the actual style of writing feels old. And I think it is a testament to White's skill that these pieces have not fallen over with the ricketiness of age. But styles do change, and these essays are starting to show some of the dust.

That is not to say this collection should be avoided (even beyond my previous admonishment for all writers to read them.) While some pieces in particular do not hold up well, others are still quite enjoyable. Foremost among these is "The Years of Wonder" – a reminiscence of White's voyage to the Bering Strait while still a teenager.

Part of why this piece succeeds (while the others have slowed down with age) is that it brings a strong narrative to the essay. And, I guess that is why I felt the others didn't hold up as well. Reminiscences of moments in life (a big part of what White is writing about) are so "of the moment" that subsequent moments will leave the writing in the dust. "The Years of Wonder" is not about a moment; it is about the transition of an individual. And the more a piece is about the effect on people rather than what it is that affected the person, the better time has treated that particular essay.

There are certain people who will enjoy these essays. Primary among them will be the students – the ones who want to learn how to write. But, in spite of a number of essays that no longer resonate, there is content here that will be enjoyable to the individual that just calls him or herself a "reader". ( )
  figre | Apr 16, 2013 |
Contains selected essays from White's articles in The New Yorker and the Times. Includes review of Strunk's Elements of Style. The author writes of his experiences on his farm in Maine and living in New York city. Other subjects are included that are much like travelogue or memoirist pieces with a persistent humorist bent.
  keylawk | Dec 22, 2012 |
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Turtle Bay, November 12, 1957 For some weeks now I have been engaged in dispersing the contents of this apartment, trying to persuade hunderds of inanimate objects to scatter and leave me alone. (Good-bye to Fourty-Eighth Street)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060932236, Paperback)

The classic collection by one of the greatest essayists of our time.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:24:39 -0400)

The classic collection by one of the greatest essayists of our time, E. B. White.

(summary from another edition)

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