December 10, 2006


Bard of the barn: As Hollywood readies a new 'Charlotte's Web,' it's a good time to recall the book's creator, E.B. White (Ty Burr, December 10, 2006, Boston Globe)

"I do hope, though, that you are not planning to turn 'Charlotte's Web' into a moral tale. It is not that at all. It is, I think, an appreciative story, and there is quite a difference. It celebrates life, the seasons, the goodness of the barn, the beauty of the world, the glory of everything. But it is essentially amoral because animals are amoral, and I respect them, and I think this respect is implicit in the tale."

Thus wrote E.B. White in 1971 to the proposed director of an animated version of his beloved children's book. Those sentiments now serve as a hope and a warning to the makers of the live-action remake opening in theaters this Friday. [...]

Anyone who holds "Charlotte's Web" close to their childhood heart, though, knows the book has one voice, and it belongs to Elwyn Brooks White. Tart, compassionate, funny, wise, White's cadences and thoughts -- the quiet clarity with which he saw the world -- are the only context that matters to this story.

Fortunately, Mr. White recorded a complete audio of the book before he passed:

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 10, 2006 9:23 AM
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