E.B. White Essayist Quote
That's where he wrote most of his best-known essays, three children's books, and a best-selling style guide.(Penguin, 2005)—a lively revision of the modest guide first composed in 1918 by Cornell University professor William Strunk, Jr.Sometimes it works out well to take a short vacation from the academic world—I have a grandson who took a year off and got a job in Aspen, Colorado.After a year of skiing and working, he is now settled into Colby College as a freshman.
As a child he kept “pigeons, dogs, snakes, pollywogs, turtles, rabbits, lizards, singing birds, chameleons, caterpillars, and mice.” This love and fascination would manifest itself in the respect he accorded his animal characters.
After the publication of Stuart Little, White would repeatedly insist that Stuart is not an actual mouse; he is “a small guy who looks very much like a mouse… Note accompanying an early manuscript of Stuart Little. “Death of a Pig.” Manuscript (page 1), circa 1947.[zoom] Many readers suspect that the event described in this essay - the illness and death of a pig White was raising for slaughter, and the ironic attachment he developed towards it as he tried to nurse it back to health - provided an inspiration for Charlotte’s Web. Anyway, the theme of Charlotte’s Web is that a pig shall be saved, and I have an idea that somewhere deep inside me there was a wish to that effect” (”Pigs, and Spiders,” Mc Clurg’s Book News, January 1953). In the finished novel, the barn and the surrounding farm become characters themselves. Final typescript (page 7), circa 1970.[zoom] White’s tale of a wild trumpeter swan born without a voice is distinctly different in style from his earlier books, but like all of his writing it celebrates his love of wildlife and the outdoors.
He is a second son.” This premise is established in the first paragraph, but is not consistently maintained: several times throughout the novel White refers to him as a mouse. Undated.[zoom] As the first children’s book from an already well-established author, Stuart Little was highly anticipated and mostly well received. Vernon, a suburban “village” just outside New York City, he cultivated a love of rural life that was finally realized when he and his wife Katharine purchased a farm on the coast of Allen Cove in Brooklin, Maine. Although White denied any direct connection, he did cite his conflicting feelings on the general practice of raising livestock to be “murdered by their benefactors” as a possible catalyst: “I have kept several pigs, starting them in the spring as weanlings and carrying trays to them all through the summer and fall. Day by day I became better acquainted with my pig, and he with me, and the fact that the whole adventure pointed toward an eventual piece of double-dealing on my part lent an eerie quality to the thing. White liberally infuses the text with lush descriptions of its sights, sounds, smells, and the stately progress of the seasons, giving the farm an idyllic quality that reflects his own love of nature and the rural lifestyle. [Facsimile][zoom] White spent two summers before and after his senior year at Cornell working as a counselor in this Ontario summer camp. Louis overcomes his disability by befriending an animal-loving boy named Sam and learning to play a trumpet.
Collectively, these idealized depictions serve as a paean to a simpler lifestyle and a closer connection between animals and humans. White at his New Yorker office with his dachshund Minnie, circa 1950. B.” White (1899-1985), Cornell ’21, was an essayist, humorist and poet, well known for his contributions to The New Yorker and Harper’s Magazine, as well as for being co-author/editor of the best-selling writing guide The Elements of Style.
The items in this exhibit case are drawn from Cornell’s comprehensive collection of White’s papers. But his most beloved works are his books for children: Stuart Little, Charlotte’s Web, and The Trumpet of the Swan, which are considered classics of children’s literature.