E.B. White’s “Here is Internet”


Today I read a 1948 book by E.B. White entitled “Here is New York,” a casual but vivid literary snapshot of Manhattan from a sultry midtown vantage, articulated in prose that when read is less duty than pleasure.  On page 25 I happened upon a paragraph that piqued my interest  By injecting the online noun (“The Internet”) for its offline counterpart (“New York”), one discovers sad prescience in what I’ve titled as E.B. White’s “Here is Internet:”

“Although the Internet often imparts a feeling of great forlornness or forsakeness, it seldom seems dead unresourceful; and you always feel that either by shifting your domain or reducing your time you can experience rejuvenation.  Many people who have no real independence of spirit depend on the Internet’s tremendous variety and sources of excitement for spiritual sustenance and maintenance of morale.  Offline there are few chances of sudden rejuvenation –a shift in weather, perhaps, or something arriving in the mail. But on the Internet the chances are endless.  I think that although many persons are here from some excess of spirit (which caused them to break away from their small offline world), some, too, are here from a deficiency of spirit, who find in the Internet a protection, or an easy substitution.”

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1 Comment

  1. sy

    June 25, 2009 @ 12:19 am