Reviewing Wendell Berry's "Our Only World"
Wendell Berry Inspires Lenten Reflection

Thoughts about Wendell Berry and the UK

There’s a new collection of Wendell Berry’s essays available, edited by Paul Kingsnorth of Dark Mountain fame, which was reviewed by premier league literary hack DJ Taylor in last week’s Guardian Review. Taylor’s review entertained me, because his reaction was quite similar to mine when I first read Berry in the 1990s:

“Hey, this is really conservative…reactionary…utopian…”

“Hang on, this is really humane, clear-eyed and, er, pretty convincing”.

I wrote a letter to the Guardian along these lines, which to my astonishment they published in this week’s edition. I was delighted to get the phrase ‘egalitarian agrarian populism’ into a national newspaper (I’d have preferred ‘left agrarian populism’, but in view of recent harangues here at Small Farm Future I wanted to aim for maximum inclusivity).

Taylor’s review touched on the issue of whether there were any UK versions of Berry – the closest he could think of were the Distributists “a bizarre coalition of traditional conservatives…and left-leaning radicals” who were “the last genuinely reactionary political movement in the UK”, together with the likes of George Ewart Evans and John Stewart Collis, who he concedes aren’t really very close.

Read the whole article by Chris Smaje at Small Farm Future and Resilience.

Comments

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Hello,

I'm wondering if you might be able to help me find a particular essay by Wendell Berry. It was all about hedgerows, and the value of hedgerows. Or, perhaps, it was about something else, but he went into depth about the subject of hedgerows.

Does this bring to mind a particular writing?

If so, I sure would appreciate your help.

Thank you.

Herrick Kimball

Hello, Herrick.

I'm far away from my books at the moment, but by pushing my brain to remember (and with some judicious use of the internet) I've discovered that MAYBE the essay you're looking for is called "Getting Along with Nature" published in Home Economics (1987). That's the best I can do for the moment. I hope it helps.

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