Elwyn Brooks White Quotes

A poem compresses much in a small space and adds music, thus heightening its meaning. Elwyn Brooks White

One of the most time-consuming things is to have an enemy. Elwyn Brooks White

The city is like poetry: it compresses all life, all races and breeds into a small island and adds music and the accompaniment of internal engines. Elwyn Brooks White

Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time. Elwyn Brooks White

Television hangs on the questionable theory that whatever happens anywhere should be sensed everywhere. Elwyn Brooks White

A writer is like a bean plant – he has his little day, and then he gets stringy. Elwyn Brooks White

The total collapse of the public opinion polls shows that this country is in good health. A country that developed an airtight system of finding out in advance what was in people’s minds would be uninhabitable. Elwyn Brooks White

Americans are willing to go to enormous trouble and expense defending their principles with arms, very little trouble and expense advocating them with words. Elwyn Brooks White

The so-called science of poll-taking is not a science at all but mere necromancy. People are unpredictable by nature, and although you can take a nation’s pulse, you can’t be sure that the nation hasn’t just run up a flight of stairs. Elwyn Brooks White

Commas in The New Yorker fall with the precision of knives in a circus act, outlining the victim. Elwyn Brooks White

A good farmer is nothing more nor less than a handy man with a sense of humus. Elwyn Brooks White

Commuter: one who spends his life
In riding to and from his wife;
A man who shaves and takes a train,
And then rides back to shave again.
Elwyn Brooks White

Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness; natives give it solidity and continuity; but the settlers give it passion. Elwyn Brooks White

Heredity is a strong factor, even in architecture. Necessity first mothered invention. Now invention has little ones of her own, and they look just like grandma. Elwyn Brooks White

The most puzzling thing about TV is the steady advance of the sponsor across the line that has always separated news from promotion, entertainment from merchandising. The advertiser has assumed the role of originator, and the performer has gradually been eased into the role of peddler. Elwyn Brooks White