Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry

By: Berry,Wendell , Wirzba,Norman

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Wendell Berry is inimitable. The paradox and source of that claim lies not in some grand scheme or complex philosophy, But rather in (what editor Norman Wirzba calls) his ''sustained attention to the particular.'' The product of this attention to ''agrarian'' (here we mean biological and ecological) concerns is a delight, even a wonder in their intrinsic worth and interdependence within the whole of creation -- which Berry believes has been damaged by the perversion of industrialism and urban life. The Art of the Common Place is a penetrating retrospective of Berry's finest work, offering us his vision into the art of our common life together. Gathered loosely into four sections, these essays consider the authentic life lived in relationship to the land and each other, embodied creatures in accord with their Creator. But we can't quite leave it at that -- the author's imaginative voice carries a deep and simple resonance that must be heard (here describing the nature of topsoil): ''It is very Christ-like in its passivity and beneficence, and in the penetrating energy that issues out of its peaceableness. It increases by experience, by the passage of seasons over it, growth rising out of it and returning to it, not by ambition or aggressiveness. It is enriched by all things that die and enter into it. It keeps the past... as richness, new possibility... always building up out of death into promise.'' 109 pp.


An Eighth Day View:


"Here is a human being speaking with calm and sanity out of the wilderness. We would do well to hear him." --The Washington Post Book World

The Art of the Commonplace gathers twenty essays by Wendell Berry that offer an agrarian alternative to our dominant urban culture. Grouped around five themes--an agrarian critique of culture, agrarian fundamentals, agrarian economics, agrarian religion, and geobiography--these essays promote a clearly defined and compelling vision important to all people dissatisfied with the stress, anxiety, disease, and destructiveness of contemporary American culture.

Why is agriculture becoming culturally irrelevant, and at what cost? What are the forces of social disintegration and how might they be reversed? How might men and women live together in ways that benefit both? And, how does the corporate takeover of social institutions and economic practices contribute to the destruction of human and natural environments?

Through his staunch support of local economies, his defense of farming communities, and his call for family integrity, Berry emerges as the champion of responsibilities and priorities that serve the health, vitality and happiness of the whole community of creation.

Title:: Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry

Author:: Berry,Wendell , Wirzba,Norman

Categories: Essays, Criticism & Memoir,

Publisher: Shoemaker & Hoard: August 2003

ISBN Number:: 1593760078

ISBN Number: 13: 9781593760076

Binding:: Paper Back

Book Condition:: New

Seller ID:: 173252