The Unexpected Always Happens Essay

The Unexpected Always Happens Essay-83
Clues to the bold and delicate nature of those steps are to be discovered in every line he writes, but the man and his work are so nearly one that, try as we will, we cannot tell the dancer from the dance.

Clues to the bold and delicate nature of those steps are to be discovered in every line he writes, but the man and his work are so nearly one that, try as we will, we cannot tell the dancer from the dance.

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Magazines that refuse unsolicited manuscripts strike me as lazy, incurious, self-assured, and self-important. There may be some justification for a technical journal to limit its list of contributors to persons who are known to be qualified.

But if I were a publisher, I wouldn’t want to put out a magazine that failed to examine everything that turned up. Ross had no great urge to publish the big names; he was far more interested in turning up new and yet undiscovered talent, the Helen Hokinsons and the James Thurbers.

I never used an agent and did not like the looks of a manuscript after an agent got through prettying it up and putting it between covers with brass clips.

(I now have an agent for such mysteries as movie rights and foreign translations.) A large part of all early contributions to published an average of fifty new writers a year.

On the occasions when they have been obliged to be apart, Andy’s conversation is so likely to center on Katharine that she becomes all the more present for being absent.

Andy and Katharine have been married for forty years, and in that time they have been separated so rarely that I find it impossible to think of one without the other.It would never occur to me to go beyond calling her Katharine, and I have not found it surprising when her son, Roger Angell, an editor of , refers to her within the office precincts as “Mrs.White.” (Roger Angell is the son of her marriage to a distinguished New York attorney, Ernest Angell; she and Andy have a son, Joe, who is a naval architect and whose boatyard is a thriving enterprise in the Whites’ hometown of Brooklin, Maine.) At the risk of reducing a man’s life to a sort of Merck’s Manual, I may mention that Andy White’s personal physician, Dana Atchley- giving characteristically short shrift to a psychosomatic view of his old friend- has described him as having a Rolls Royce mind in a Model T body.We use cookies and other technologies to customize your experience, perform analytics and deliver personalized advertising on our sites, apps and newsletters and across the Internet based on your interests.By clicking “I agree” below, you consent to the use by us and our third-party partners of cookies and data gathered from your use of our platforms.I was twenty-seven or twenty-eight before anything happened that gave me any assurance that I could make a go of writing.I had a great deal of writing, but I lacked confidence in my ability to put it to good use.See our Privacy Policy and Third Party Partners to learn more about the use of data and your rights. If it happens that your parents concern themselves so little with the workings of boys’ minds as to christen you Elwyn Brooks White, no doubt you decide as early as possible to identify yourself as E. White, then, following a variant of the principle that everybody named Rhodes winds up being nicknamed “Dusty,” you wind up being nicknamed “Andy.” And so it has come about that for fifty of his seventy years Elwyn Brooks White has been known to his readers as E. What a mountain of good work they have accumulated in that fashion!I can still remember the feeling that “this was it”—I was a pro at last. INTERVIEWER What were those first pieces accepted by ?Did you send them in with a covering letter, or through an agent?


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