Recently I have been reading quite a lot, and to say I am fascinated by some people’s command of language would be a gross understatement. Regretfully, I feel that while I can BS endlessly, I write quite poorly as a whole and am jealous of these people.
One book I’ve read recently–or reread as it were–is Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style. The forward once again captivated me in a way that the subject rarely is, and as I neared it’s end and saw who wrote it, I am embarrassed to admit that I had not previously considered that the White half of Strunk and White, is E.B. White; the author of Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little.
You see, of late I have also been reading Letters of E. B. White; all the while in shock that a man who is best known for writing children’s books writes with such grace. Connecting the dots, it would appear I now have a new author to count amongst my favorites, and here is one food-related E.B White quote, from a letter he wrote to Bennet Cerf regarding Charlotte’s Web, that I am especially fond of.
A farm is a peculiar problem for a man who likes animals because the fate of most livestock is that they are murdered by their benefactors. The creatures may live serenely but they end violently, and the odor of doom hangs about them always.
I have kept several pigs, starting them in the spring as weanlings and carrying trays to them all through the summer and fall. The relationship bothered me. 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.