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Here is New York (1949)
by E. B. White
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0446388297, Paperback)"On any person who desires such queer prizes, New York will bestow the gift of loneliness and the gift of privacy." So begins E.B. White's classic meditation on that noisiest, most public of American cities. Written during the summer of 1948, well after the author and editor had taken up permanent residence in Maine, Here Is New York is a fond glance back at the city of his youth, when White was one of the "young worshipful beginners" who give New York its passionate character. It's also a tribute to the sheer implausibility of the place--the tangled infrastructure, the teeming humanity, the dearth of air and light. Much has changed since White wrote this essay, yet in a city "both changeless and changing" there are things here that will doubtless ring equally true 100 years from now. To wit, "New Yorkers temperamentally do not crave comfort and convenience--if they did they would live elsewhere."
Anyone who's ever cherished his essays--or even Charlotte's Web--knows that White is the most elegant of all possible stylists. There's not a sentence here that does not make itself felt right down to the reader's very bones. What would the author make of Giuliani's New York? Or of Times Square, Disney-style? It's hard to say for sure. But not even Planet Hollywood could ruin White's abiding sense of wonder: "The city is like poetry: it compresses all life ... into a small island and adds music and the accompaniment of internal engines." This lovely new edition marks the 100th anniversary of E.B. White's birth--cause for celebration indeed. --Mary Park
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:42 -0400)
The author describes the sites and character of the city in 1949
Two editions of this book were published by NYRB Classics.
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