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WB, conservatism, community

Community | Caleb Stegall | Front Porch Republic.

With one of the most unique, eloquent, and deeply conservative voices of the late twentieth century, Wendell Berry has fashioned from his career a kind of long, poetic lament for the final passing of rural America and of its people, places, rites, and rituals. Community, for Berry, is ultimately about membership: it is a group of people embedded in a place and a network of memory who belong to one another. Within such a community, even individual moral decisions must account for that belonging. READ MORE ...

WB versus NAIS

Wendell Berry and Community Farm Alliance Protest NAIS in Kentucky.

Wendell Berry, also wearing a nice suit, said that the problem N.A.I.S. was supposed to solve was a problem caused by agricultural industrialists themselves, who now intended to use that problem as a pretext to further marginalize and limit the possibilities of small-scale agriculture. He said it was insulting to rural Kentuckians that USDA had hired policemen to be present at this listening session. He noted that USDA's fear of the people they were supposed to be serving made it clear what N.A.I.S. was all about. And he said that if NAIS were implemented, USDA was going to need far more than a couple of policemen to deal with the resistance and civil disobedience that would result. Naming Henry David Thoreau, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. as honorable examples of the tradition of non-violent non-compliance, Berry said he would absolutely not comply with N.A.I.S. As an older person, he said he had little to lose by going to jail for the sake of the younger generations whose lives and livelihoods would be threatened or eliminated by such oppression, and who still did have much to lose. READ MORE ...

Deneen cites WB

What Is to be Done? | Front Porch Republic.

Wendell Berry is the touchstone of this site, not only because he has long and best articulated an alternative vision to the dominant cultural, political and economic presuppositions of this nation of “boomers,” but because he has walked the walk, leaving a promising academic career in New York City to take up a life of greater “complexity” on the farm in Henry County, Kentucky. READ MORE ...

WB cited in Chicago

Giant Television Devours Chicago | Chicago Daily Observer.

Recently the actor Peter Kevoian delivered an excellent portrayal at Chicago’s Mercury Theatre of Screwtape, a senior devil who instructs his nephew, a junior tempter, on the art of corrupting human souls. I paraphrase one piece of advice: “Don’t give your human subject quiet time for reflection! Make NOISE! Surround him with NOISE!”

And it’s noise we’ve got, with television screens chattering at us as we dine, pump gas and ride elevators, advertising mostly useless goods as part of what Wendell Berry calls an “economy based on anxiety, fantasy, luxury and idle wishing.”  READ MORE ...

New Andy Catlett in TPR

Threepenny: Berry, Early Education.

In grades one and two I was a sweet, tractable child who caused no trouble. I was "little Andy Catlett," the second of that name, the first being my Uncle Andrew who had raised more than his share of hell and mowed a wide swath among the ladies. My own public reputation so far was clean as a whistle. But in grade three I learned of the damage that could be done to a strict disciplinary harmony by a small discord, and I was never the same afterwards. READ MORE ...

A Blatant Plug for a Really Good Literary Magazine: Over the years, The Threepenny Review has provided me with much fictional, non-fictional, and poetical, thought-provoking goodness. Please check it out and consider a subscription for yourself. Thanks.

Gurney Norman profiled

Kentucky's new poet laureate is devoted to nurturing Appalachian literature - Books - Macon.

You can almost imagine him as a young UK freshman, wearing his ROTC uniform, listening to UK senior Wendell Berry deliver remarks about T.S. Eliot during an English Club panel discussion. In the summer 2005 issue of Appalachian Heritage, Berry relates this first encounter with a young Norman and his ardent curiosity. After the talk concluded, the freshman walked up to the senior and said, "Now tell me more about this T.S. Eliot."  READ MORE ...

Grassland reviewed

The Future, of Agriculture | IONIUM.

Wendell Berry, a farmer and renowned author of more than forty books and essays about culture and agriculture, provides a moving foreword for the book that stresses the importance of properly educating future farmers about the land and the roles of grasslands. Grassland was written to increase our awareness of the vital role grass and grassland plants have in ensuring a sustainable future for American agriculture.  READ MORE ...