Concerning Wendell Berry's "Our Only World"
06 April 2015
Our Only World, like Berry’s other essay collections, covers an impressive array of subjects: poetics, the Boston marathon bombing, sustainable forestry, abortion, gay marriage, Edward Snowden and the U.S. secret surveillance programs, strip mining, water quality and the 2014 chemical spill in West Virginia, species loss. Berry draws these disparate topics together to provide an authentic general criticism, a kind of thought not often practiced in an intellectual culture infected by industrial specialization: “We have good technical or specialized criticism: a given thing is either a good specimen of its kind or it is not. A valid general criticism would measure work against its context. The health of the context — the body, the community, the ecosystem — would reveal the health of the work” (14).
Read the complete essay by Jeffrey Bilbro at Front Porch Republic
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