Wendell Berry: Life and Work

Front Cover
Jason Peters
University Press of Kentucky, Dec 1, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 368 pages

Essayist, social critic, poet, "mad farmer," novelist, teacher, and prophet: Wendell Berry has been called many things, but the broad sweep of his contemporary relevance and influence defies facile labels. With his unique perspective and far-reaching vision, Berry poses complex questions about humankind and our relationship to the land and offers simple but profound solutions. Berry's essays, novels, and poems give voice to a provocative but consistent philosophy, one that extends far beyond its agrarian core to include elements of sociology, the natural sciences, politics, religion, philosophy, linguistics, agriculture, and other seemingly incompatible fields of study. Wendell Berry: Life and Work examines this wise and original thinker, appraising his written work and exploring his influence as an activist and artist. Jason Peters has assembled a broad variety of writers including Hayden Carruth, Sven Birkerts, Barbara Kingsolver, Stanley Hauerwas, Donald Hall, Ed McClanahan, Bill McKibben, Scott Russell Sanders, Norman Wirzba, Wes Jackson, and Eric T. Freyfogle. Each contributor examines an aspect of Berry's varied yet cohesive body of work. Also included are highly personal glimpses of Wendell Berry: his career, academic influence, and unconventional lifestyle. These deft sketches of Berry show the purity of his agrarian lifestyle and demonstrate that there is nothing simple about the life to which he has devoted himself. He embraces a life that sustains him not by easy purchase and haste but by physical labor and patience, not by mindless acquiescence to a centralized economy but by careful attention to local ways and wisdom. Wendell Berry: Life and Work combines biographical sketches, personal accounts, literary criticism, and social commentary. Together, the contributors illuminate Berry as he is: a complex man of place and community with an astonishing depth of domestic, intellectual, filial, and fraternal attributes. The result is a rich portrait of one of America's most profound and honest thinkers.

 

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Wendell Berry: life and work

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Anyone unacquainted with Wendell Berry-man of letters, farmer, recipient of numerous awards, modern-day Jeremiah, and iconoclast of contemporary culture-will find no better overview of his life and ... Read full review

Contents

Foreword
Aint They the Berries
Words Addressed to Our Condition Exactly
The Best Noise in the World
How Wendell Berry SingleHandedly Preserved Three Hundred Years
Politics Nature and Value in Wendell Berrys Art of
Berry Britannica
A Citizen of the Real World
Hemingways Nick and Wendell Berrys
At His Desk as on His Land
Looking the Technological Gift Horse in the Mouth
Agrarian Artist
Education Heresy and the Deadly Disease of the World
Wendells Window and the Winds
Fidelity
Thought

Wendell Berry the Professor
Letters from a Humble Radical
Wendell Berry and the Limits of Populism

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About the author (2009)

Jason Peters is Dorothy J. Parkander Chair in Literature, Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois.

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