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Blog Watch: WB and others on 'home'

Environmental Humanities: Imagine.
We often conceive of home as the place where we feel most secure, the place we know most and best, the place where we are most deeply tied to landscapes, family and community. We think of it as the place we defend, the place we protect, and the place we honor.

I had thoughtlessly accepted the common assumption...that the world is merely an inert surface that man lives on and uses...that summer, I began to see, however dimly, that one of my ambitions, perhaps my governing ambition, was to belong fully to this place, to belong as the thrushes and the herons and the muskrats belonged, to be altogether at home here...It is a spiritual ambition, like goodness.

--Wendell Berry, exerpted from "The Long-Legged House", in Rebecca Kneale Gould, At Home in Nature

Blog Watch: Fear of Pollan

Civil Eats » Blog Archive » Why are Farmers Afraid of Michael Pollan?.
So, why are they afraid of what he has to say? Pollan admits there is no one right way to farm, there is no one system that will work for all farmers. He maintains that all farmers need to make a living yet be mindful of how they farm, how they raise their animals and how they maintain the environment. If Pollan has an argument with agriculture, it is not with farmers, it is with agribusiness.

Author Wendell Berry notes that “Agribusiness is immensely more profitable than agriculture.” Any farmer knows that the corporate owners of seed, chemicals, fertilizer and the buyers of grain, livestock and milk always seem to make a profit; farmers do not. READ MORE ...

Logsdon classic available online

Organic Recipes Blog, Organic Food, Small Organic Garden Farms, Edible Landscapes - » Blog Archive » The Man Who Created Paradise - by Gene Logsdon.

Maybe we continue to need to think of Paradise, and of making Paradise, because the earth as it was given to us (as we realize from time to time) was so nearly paradisal, and we are so talented at making a Hell of it ... W. Berry


This is a really fine work. Thanks to The Englewood Review of Books for the information.

New essay collection for the new year Imagination in Place (9781582435626): Wendell Berry: Books.
"Our cultural tradition is in large part the record of our continuing effort to understand ourselves as beings specifically human." —Wendell Berry

In this varied and vibrant collection of new writings, Wendell Berry covers a wide landscape of interests relevant to us all, ranging from the public policy to nature and spirituality. He shares his inimitable perspective on matters that affect each of us on personal and public levels—indeed, this collection confirms what Berry readers have long known: Few writers in America can match the depth of his thought or the ringing clarity of his prose. Imagination in Place brings to date Berry's perspective on such essential current concerns as agriculture, sustainability, and the economy. He addresses the latter with his much admired essay "Faustian Economics," previously published in The Atlantic and included here—an especially prescient commentary given our country's current challenges with Late Capitalism. There are also beautiful essays of tribute, wherein Berry offers insights into the lives and works of such luminaries as Wallace Stegner, James Still, Gary Snyder, and Kathleen Raine. Altogether, readers familiar with Wendell Berry’s work and those new to his thought will find the essays here to be full of extraordinary power and hope.

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Counterpoint (February 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582435626
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582435626

Peters on WB and EA

The Deep Surface: A Note on Edward Abbey and Wendell Berry | Front Porch Republic.
Wendell Berry’s admiration for Abbey is a matter of record. I don’t have a copy of What Are People For? in front of me tonight, but anyone who wants to verify this can get the book and take a look at “A Few Words in Favor of Edward Abbey.” It’s an essay I return to now and again because in it one writer I admire admires another writer I admire, and there we all are admiring one another. Well, I’m not being admired, but you get the point.

My purpose, however, is not to get into Berry’s admiration for Abbey. My purpose is to get into Berry’s admiration for surfaces, which, like Abbey’s, is ultimately an admiration for depth, for that “underlying reality” Abbey affected indifference to. READ MORE ...

Blog Watch: Delightful quest for WB in Dublin

Domer in Dublin: In Search of Wendell Berry.
Proceed to one of a half-dozen check out points and suggest to the cashier that you're sure that Hodges has Berry, it's just that he's hard to classify and you don't quite know where to look. She types his name into the search engine. Her eyes grow round. "Oh my, he is hard to classify. In fact, he's in almost every section. Including business. And poetry?! But I'm afraid we don't have any in stock."

 Not to worry, with Waterstone's across the street. Note that the headings above the shelves are almost identical to Hodges Figgis': The English classification in a font slightly larger than the corresponding Irish word, white type on a green field. But there are fewer shelves, fewer sections here, and more cheap beach paperbacks. There's a ginger haired man in the basement with silver frames over friendly brown eyes:

"Wendell Berry? Never heard of him. But these are interesting titles. A back-to-the-land kind of writer, looks like."

"Uh, yeah, he's kind of what you'd call a southern agrarian. He lives on his farm in Kentucky, and he doesn't own a computer..."

"Sure, then, he's written a lot for a man who doesn't have a computer!" READ MORE ...

Slightly OT: NJ coal plant 'cleaner' Coal is here to stay.
The retrofit in Jersey City includes installing what amounts to a giant filter to capture particulates. The plant will also be able to scrub sulfur dioxide from the emissions and use a carbon-injection system to control mercury.

Emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter and mercury will be reduced by 85 to 93 percent. Those emissions contribute to smog, trigger asthma attacks and help make New Jersey’s air quality among the worst in the nation. Emissions that blow in from Midwest coal plants also account for the state’s poor air.

Two years ago, the plant changed to a cleaner type of coal from Indonesia, which dropped the levels of hydrochloric acid emissions by almost 1.3 million pounds a year.

But the plant still managed to pump more than 5 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere during that time, according to the EPA. In 2008, the plant accounted for almost 20 percent of the carbon dioxide released in New Jersey. READ MORE ...

Blog Watch: Reading 'That Distant Land'

Worthwhile Books: That Distant Land by Wendell Berry.
Be prepared to read this book with a little ache around your heart. You’ll be touched by its tender friendships, its descriptions of the fragility and beauty of life, and its relentless pictures of suffering infused with grace. No matter how bad things get, Berry convinces you that life is good; it’s a gift worth opening because it is made rich by the love of good friends and neighbors. READ MORE ...

Band reads 'Jayber Crow'

The Sidelines - Paper Route plays with surreal, dark pop.
Rather than try to copy other musicians, Paper Route looks to other art forms when in a musical rut.

In addition to the entire band reading “Jayber Crow,” a TV was set up in the recording area as an inspirational outlet when trying to come up with ideas.

“Blade Runner” and Wendell Berry apparently equal moody, synthesized melodia brought down to earth by very humanistic, if tired, themes of friendship and love.

Comparisons could be drawn closely to Coldplay, because the sound is stylistically refined, but lyrically meandering and colorful. READ MORE ...