Tag: Wendell Berry
Manchester, NH. The prospect of moving from our little cottage in New Hampshire causes me great pain. Why? Because I am a creature of...
We can agree that many technological “advances” have objectively done more harm than good, in terms of the human condition as well as the Earth, and that we face a bleak scenario of looming catastrophe. But this doesn’t mean that there is no way out.
Brecon, Wales. Stories are a necessary part of healing and wholeness. I don’t just mean a story we may like or we tell ourselves...
The various parts—historical and autobiographical, theological and literary—all contribute to the central thread: that we seek wholeness, and that wholeness depends on better understanding ourselves and our damaged, but not lost, chances for community.
He has never chased the new or tried to be avant-garde. Even in the physical act of writing, he has famously resisted the “advantages” of a personal computer and has opted instead to continue using the older technologies of pencil and paper. Though How It Went is technically a new book from Berry, the stories are pleasingly familiar.
That integration, that coherence of self in two souls resurrected in each other’s presence, is what keeps my place in my community. It’s what makes a home for my grievances, present and redeemed. It’s work, but it’s how we are made whole.
Scruton, from that day in France until the end, could never situate himself in the fugitive and cloistered comfort of the academic and intellectual orthodoxy.
Berry, with an insistence that defies despair, is still carrying out his calling. He notes the discouraging odds his kind has faced not just now but in the past. Imperial presence in whatever its forms has long imperiled the agrarian ideal.
Berry connects these major themes from The Hidden Wound to other themes from his many works—work, agrarianism, industrialization, citizenship, affection, and place. In so doing, he offers his readers a fuller-orbed view of his thinking than maybe he has ever done previously. In the end, at least after my first close reading of the volume, I think this work of integration is the most valuable contribution of The Need to Be Whole.
These are not compassionate times—not in the public square, and not in all too much of our increasingly chaotic private life, though I think many people are trying. Mr. Berry knows this very well. And so about halfway through the book, he takes a few pages to acknowledge he was told, more than once, that his reputation would be marred by showing any sympathy to the life or plight of any Confederate.