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. . . and St. Wendell too.


Local cultures and economies, forest communities, small shares of private land, and health--these are the themes explored by Wendell Berry in the latest book of his that I have devoured. Six relatively short essays only add to the imperative that Western culture has some serious problems with it. That fact is not news (nor even literature ala E. Pound) but Berry's solutions could be considered a new antithesis to the G.O.D. complex of our political masters (that's Grow Or Die).


I suppose one could say that Farmer Wendell says nothing here that he hasn't already said. But wisdom doesn't come in a vaccination i.e. one shot of it doesn't keep you for life, instead one needs a regular dosage of wisdom to truly be at home in our skins and on the earth. So, Berry will keep writing until enough of us get the message and do something about it.


A couple of excerpts (note I've posted a couple of different quotes from this book earlier in "What Hath Economics to Do with the Environment?"):
There are . . . two laws that we had better take to be absolute.
The first is that as we cannot exempt ourselves
from living in this world, then if we wish to live, we cannot
exempt ourselves from using the world. Even the most scrupulous
vegetarians must use the world--that is they must kill creatures, substitute
one species for another, and eat food that would otherwise be eaten by other
creatures. . . . The second law is that if we want
to continue living, we cannot exempt use from care.

And again in the same essay " The Conservation of Nature and the Preservation of Humanity"

There is simply nothing in Creation that does not matter.
If you haven't read Wendell Berry yet, I honestly don't know what to tell you other than Wisdom is calling in the marketplace, can't you hear her?

Comments

Anonymous said…
Scot, finally read my first Berry book: Life is a Miracle. Fantastic! Looking forward to reading more.
DDH
Scot said…
It has taken me this long to figure out who the heck DDH was. Initials are not enough, Mr. Hayes! For your next assignment read "The Unsettling of America."
Anonymous said…
My library doesn't have it. You'll have to loan it to me.
Mr. Hayes (DDH)

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