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

BookBrowse's Favorite Quotes

E. B. White"Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it." - E. B. White

Today, E. B. White is perhaps most famous and beloved for his children's books, Stuart Little (1945), Charlotte's Web (1952), and The Trumpet of the Swan (1970). Many of us also know White from the classic The Elements of Style, a slim handbook of stylistic and grammatical guidance, which he edited and updated in 1959 from the original published in 1918 by William Strunk, Jr. But during his lifetime White was most respected as a prolific essayist, columnist, and satirist for The New Yorker and Harper's, writing about urban life, nature, failures of technological progress, war, and internationalism.

Elwyn Brooks White was born in Mount Vernon, NY, in 1899, the youngest of six children - a family White described as "a kingdom unto ourselves." He graduated from Cornell University in 1921, and worked a series of writing jobs before joining the newly established New Yorker, and remained on its staff for the rest of his career. He married the magazine's literary editor, Katherine Sergeant Angell in 1929. In 1939 they moved to a farm in North Brooklin, Maine, where White lived until his death of Alzheimer disease in 1985. He was awarded two American Academy of Arts and Letters gold medals for essays and criticism, and a Pulitzer Prize special citation in 1978. He held honorary degrees from seven American colleges and universities and was a member of The American Academy.

Of writing for children, White says: "Anyone who writes down to children is simply wasting his time. You have to write up, not down. Children are demanding. They are the most attentive, curious, eager, observant, sensitive, quick, and generally congenial readers on earth. They accept, almost without question, anything you present them with, as long as it is presented honestly, fearlessly, and clearly."

More Quotes

This quote & biography originally ran in an issue of BookBrowse's membership magazine. Full Membership Features & Benefits.

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: My Monticello
    My Monticello
    by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson
    In the incendiary opening story of My Monticello, Jocelyn Nicole Johnson's debut collection, a ...
  • Book Jacket: The Wrong End of the Telescope
    The Wrong End of the Telescope
    by Rabih Alameddine
    Rabih Alameddine's The Wrong End of the Telescope follows Mina, a Lebanese American doctor who ...
  • Book Jacket: Lightning Strike
    Lightning Strike
    by William Kent Krueger
    It is the summer of 1963 in Tamarack County, Minnesota. Just outside the small town of Aurora, ...
  • Book Jacket: Skinship
    Skinship
    by Yoon Choi
    The fine thing about short stories in general is their way of following characters through ...

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
Morningside Heights
by Joshua Henkin
A tender and big-hearted novel about love in the face of loss, from the award-winning author of The World Without You.

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Flesh & Blood
    by N. West Moss

    This beautifully written memoir offers insight, understanding, and joy.

Win This Book!
Win Sisters of the Great War

Sisters of the Great War by Suzanne Feldman

A powerful novel of two unconventional American sisters who volunteer at the front during World War I.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

Y A B Up T W T

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.