Wendell Berry interviewed, 17 February 2015
17 February 2015
The entirety of Berry’s work, despite its breadth, is focused on the relationship men and women have to the earth and to their townships—to the communities that are integral to human flourishing. TAC senior editor Rod Dreher once wrote that Berry’s “unshakable devotion to the land, to localism, and to the dignity of traditional life makes him both a great American and, to the disgrace of our age, a prophet without honor in his native land.” Yet Berry’s fame is growing as more people come to appreciate the role he has played in our national conversation—not as a prophet of conservatism or of liberalism, but as a vital thinker for our culture and country as a whole.
Gracy Olmstead: Jayber Crow is deeply rooted in his community. He’s opposed to war and much of the so-called “progress” that goes on around him. Would you call Jayber Crow a conservative?
Wendell Berry: It never occurred to me to think of Jayber as a “conservative.” I don’t think that would have helped, though he is instinctively and in principle a conserver. His membership is not in a party or a public movement, but in Port William. He is a man of unsteady faith in love with a place, a perishing little town, a community, a woman—with all that is redemptive and good—struggling to be worthy. I didn’t (and don’t) think of him as a “liberal” either.
Read it all at The American Conservative
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