E.B.White Essays

E.B.White Essays-14
The dinner date seemed a familiar conflict: I move in a desultory society and often a week or two will roll by without my going to anybody's house to dinner or anyone's coming to mine, but when an occasion does arise, and I am summoned, something usually turns up (an hour or two in advance) to make all human intercourse seem vastly inappropriate.I have come to believe that there is in hostesses a special power of divination, and that they deliberately arrange dinners to coincide with pig failure or some other sort of failure.

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Once in a while something slips—one of the actors goes up in his lines and the whole performance stumbles and halts. This was slapstick—the sort of dramatic treatment which instantly appealed to my old dachshund, Fred, who joined the vigil, held the bag, and, when all was over, presided at the interment.

When we slid the body into the grave, we both were shaken to the core.

I didn't even know whether there were two ounces of castor oil on the place.

Shortly after five o'clock I remembered that we had been invited out to dinner that night and realized that if I were to dose a pig there was no time to lose.

I spent several days and nights in mid-September with an ailing pig and I feel driven to account for this stretch of time, more particularly since the pig died at last, and I lived, and things might easily have gone the other way round and none left to do the accounting.

Even now, so close to the event, I cannot recall the hours sharply and am not ready to say whether death came on the third night or the fourth night.

A friend recommended this essay collection to me after seeing a picture I had posted of a raccoon in a hollow tree on our property. Sometimes his writing just hits the spot; sometimes he brings me a good solid belly-laugh like ... He graduated from Cornell University in 1921 and, five or six years later, joined the staff of The New Yorker magazine, then in its infancy.

The particular essay she had in mind is titled Coon Tree . He died on October 1, 1985, and was survived by his son and three grandchildren. White's essays have appeared in Harper's magazine, and some of his other books are: One Man's Meat, The Second Tree from the Corner, Letters of E.

But I'm running ahead of my story and shall have to go back.

My pigpen is at the bottom of an old orchard below the house.


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