Monday, December 22, 2008

E. B. White on publishing and New Year's resolutions.

This is the 500th post on The Bunburyist.

From E. B. White, Writings from The New Yorker 1927–1976, ed. Rebecca M. Dale, New York: Harper, 1990. 12, 63.
The doctors are wondering whether there is some special property in turtle blood that keeps the arteries from hardening. ... But there is also the possibility that a turtle's blood vessels stay in nice shape because of the way turtles conduct their lives. ... No two turtles ever lunched together with the idea of promoting anything. No turtle ever went around complaining that there is no profit in book publishing except from the subsidiary rights. ("Turtle Blood Bank," The New Yorker, January 31, 1953)

... [W]e shall resolve not to overwrite in the new year... ("Orthodoxy," The New Yorker, December 30, 1950)


Jennie said...

I've lurked on your blog for awhile, but I had to comment on this post. E.B. White is one of my very favourite writers, and it is a crime that more people don't read his essays. (I already own one collection, but I obviously need this one as well). One of my favourite bits is his response to finding out that some of the electric fences around a farm he was touring didn't have any "zap" running through them. He wrote that the cows should:
"Rise up cows! Take your liberty while despots snore!"
Hard not to love a man who manages to be entertaining, grammatically accurate, and heart-warming.

Elizabeth Foxwell said...

Be sure to look at Roger Angell's book, _Let Me Finish_, which includes a wonderful portrait of White, who was Angell's stepfather. Angell also reveals that another relative was Olive Higgins Prouty, the author of _Now, Voyager_ and _Stella Dallas_.