Friday, December 15, 2006

Off to the Movies

Today is the release date for the new "live-action" version of Charlotte's Web. Here is a photo of its stars, an unnamed shoat and 12-year old Dakota Fanning (from Conyers, Georgia, by the way) on the red carpet at the film's premiere. I'm sure I will have more to say about the film later. For now, though, I'd just like to note that the best thing that E.B. White ever wrote about pigs was his funny and moving essay "Death of a Pig" which appeared in the January 1948 issue of Atlantic Monthly. You can find it reprinted in The Essays of E.B White (1977). It describes his reactions to the days and nights spent taking care of a sick pig on his farm. This pig eventually dies. Several critics have argued that White partly (and unintentionally) wrote Charlotte's Web to save this pig in retrospect, as it were. As White wrote in "Death of a Pig" upon burying his pig, which he was raising to eat eventually:
The loss we felt was not the loss of ham but the loss of pig. He had evidently become precious to me, not that he represented a distant nourishment in a hungry time, but that he had suffered in a suffering world.


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