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Tag: E.B. White

The Distant Music of the Hounds

Skimming through a new book of E.B. White quotations led me to a short essay he wrote about Christmas, which is luckily available online in The New Yorker’s archive section:

To perceive Christmas through its wrapping becomes more difficult with every year. There was a little device we noticed in one of the sporting-goods stores – a trumpet that hunters hold to their ears so that they can hear the distant music of the hounds. Something of the sort is needed now to hear the incredibly distant sound of Christmas in these times, through the dark, material woods that surround it. “Silent Night,” canned and distributed in thundering repetition in the department stores, has become one of the greatest of all noisemakers, almost like the rattles and whistles of Election Night.

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While first published in 1949, it still feels relevant today. The essay was later republished in the The Second Tree from the Corner under the title of “The Distant Music of the Hounds”.

The Elements of Style, Illustrated

While I still prefer my ragged dog-eared paperback edition of The Elements of Style, this nicely bound hardcover version is nice to flip through on occasion for inspiration and is always within arm’s reach on my desk.

Its illustrator Maira Kalman has also worked on other notable projects and was recently featured in the WSJ several months back (her email-free workspace sounds tempting).

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