E.B. White

Topics: E. B. White, The New Yorker, The Elements of Style Pages: 3 (1121 words) Published: December 4, 2005
Leading American essayist and literary stylist of his time, E.B. White transformed his life experiences into unforgettable satire and children's literature. Elwyn Brooks White was born in 1899 in Mount Vernon, New York to Samuel and Jessie White. On White's twelfth birthday, his father said, "You are the object of the affectionate solicitude of yourmother and father. Then you have been born a Christian. When you reflect that the great majority of men are born in heathen lands in dense ignorance and superstition it is something to be thankful for that you have the light that giveth life." (Samuel White) This was definitely an inspiration for White. After he graduated college at Cornell University in 1921, he began working at places such as United Press, American Legion News Service, and the Seattle Times as a reporter. In 1924, he moved back to New York. He eventually joined the newly established New Yorker. He met his wife, Katherine Sergeant Angell, who also worked at the New Yorker. One of his first pieces in the New Yorker was: "Walden is the only book I own, although there are some others unclaimed on my shelves. Every man, I think, reads one book in his life, and this one is mine. It is not the best book I ever encountered, perhaps, but it is for me the handiest, and I keep it about me in much the same way one carries a handkerchief - for relief in moments of defluxion or despair." (White in The New Yorker, May 23, 1953) In the late 1930s, he turned to children's literature on behalf of one of his nieces. Stuart Little became E.B. White's first children's story. He was sleeping in a railway sleeping car and dreamed about a tiny boy who acted rather like a mouse. It is the story of a young New Yorker named Stuart Little who had the "shy, pleasant manner of a mouse" and in his illustrations looks like a mouse. "When Mrs. Frederick C. Little's second son arrived, everybody noticed that he was not much bigger than a mouse." (Stuart Little 1945) Stuart is good...
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