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Civilization, Escape, or Community: Revisiting Into the Wild with Wendell Berry

Wendell Berry pleads with us to see that true joy and fulfillment— the very motivations at the heart of Huck Finn and Christopher McCandless—are to be found not in escape and isolation, but in willing membership and participation in community life.

The Restorative Tonic of Wildness

Particularly in a culture that values comfort and convenience, we need to listen to those who have encountered wilderness with the humility and attentiveness necessary to receive its instruction.

Larry McMurtry and Wendell Berry at the Dairy Queen

McMurtry couldn’t quite set the Bowie knife to the scalp of the Western like Cormac McCarthy did the same year, maybe because he knew those people weren’t grotesque caricatures; they were people he’d known and loved. And when he died last week, he was probably the last person in Archer City who had any connection to those people at all.

Grace Olmstead on Uprooted, Place, Idaho, and Prairie Lupines

Fidelity to place needn’t (and shouldn’t) result in stuckness, a condemnation of ever moving at all. But we must beware falling into that second trap: rejecting roots altogether.

The Roots of America’s Falling Fertility

Human fertility is not the root of our problems. It is but one symptom of a deeper, more elemental problem.

Men in the Field: The Farming Stories of Leo L. Ward,...

The best stories in the volume offer Cather-esque explorations of the links between place and people. The stories are remarkable for their dense layers, for their social, psychological, and emotional intricacies.

From the Editor–Local Culture 3.1: The Arts of Region and Place

Is only the life of the busy and bustling place, the place of mergers and acquisitions, worthy of story and song and canvas?

A Pastoral Inheritance: James Rebanks and a Tribute to Our Late...

There is much wisdom contained in English Pastoral for suffering churches. If the last fifty years have shown that innovation and modernization aren’t the solution to our ill-health, they have also made a nostalgic return to yesteryear an impossibility.

A Metaphysics of Place: Reintegrating Nous and Cosmos at the Foot...

Even in the midst of this sad era of cold, objective ambition, the possibility of grateful participation in the cosmic life of creation remains for each of us.

Where Is Our Freedom to Exercise Sympathy?

The same things that happened to the family farms, and to farmers like my father, are now happening to the colleges, and to faculty like me.