The Art of the Commonplace

The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry

Author: Wendell Berry

Publisher: Counterpoint

ISBN: 9781582439242

Category: Fiction

Page: 352

View: 8845

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"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.
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The Art of the Commonplace

The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry

Author: Wendell Berry

Publisher: Counterpoint

ISBN: 1593760078

Category: Fiction

Page: 352

View: 6839

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An incisive compilation of twenty-one essays share the author's thoughts on the topics of agrarianism, agriculture, and community in writings that support local economies, defend farming communities, champion responsibility, and celebrate the integrity of the family. Original.
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The Essential Agrarian Reader

The Future of Culture, Community, and the Land

Author: Norman Wirzba

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

ISBN: 0813130182

Category: Nature

Page: 296

View: 7449

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" WITH A FOREWORD BY BARBARA KINGSOLVER A compelling worldview with advocates from around the globe, agrarianism challenges the shortcomings of our industrial and technological economy. Not simply focused on farming, the agrarian outlook encourages us to develop practices and policies that promote the health of land, community, and culture. Agrarianism reminds us that no matter how urban we become, our survival will always be inextricably linked to the precious resources of soil, water, and air. Combining fresh insights from the disciplines of education, law, history, urban and regional planning, economics, philosophy, religion, ecology, politics, and agriculture, these original essays develop a sophisticated critique of our culture’s current relationship to the land, while offering practical alternatives. Leading agrarians, including Wendell Berry, Vandana Shiva, Wes Jackson, Gene Logsdon, Brian Donahue, Eric Freyfogle, and David Orr, explain how our goals should be redirected toward genuinely sustainable communities. These writers call us to an honest accounting and correction of our often destructive ways. They suggest how our society can take practical steps toward integrating soils, watersheds, forests, wildlife, urban areas, and human populations into one great system—a responsible flourishing of our world and culture.
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Wendell Berry

Life and Work

Author: Jason Peters

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

ISBN: 0813172535

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 368

View: 9417

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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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Procreative Ethics

Philosophical and Christian Approaches to Questions at the Beginning of Life

Author: Fritz Oehlschlaeger

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1606082302

Category: Religion

Page: 380

View: 4130

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Procreative Ethics addresses questions at the beginning of life from a point of view that is alternatively philosophical and christian. The author seeks to defend philosophically some positions taken partly on Christian grounds while also trying to make the implications of Christian convictions intelligible to those who do not necessarily share those convictions. The author positions himself neither as a "moral friend" nor "moral stranger," preferring instead the role of "moral acquaintance" to his audience. From that position, the goal is to find areas of fruitful agreement while clarifying differences that may lead to truer reconciliations further on in the conversation. The book opens with an attempted natural law defense of artificial contraception; devotes four chapters to criticism of current defenses of abortion; and then takes up, in six remaining chapters, such matters as genetic enhancement of children, the justice or injustice of genetic revision, the harm conundrum or non-identity problem, designing for disability, and reproductive cloning. "Fritz Oehlschlaeger has written a remarkable book that needs to be read by everyone with a stake in moral questions at life's beginning. Displaying theological and philosophical sophistication as well as a profound wisdom, these arguments must be taken seriously by those who agree with Oeschlaeger as well as those who do not."---Joel James Shuman King's College "Writing with a modesty that betrays the depth of argument that characterizes Procreative Ethics, Fritz Oehlschlaeger has written the most important book in bioethics in recent memory. Bioethics has long suffered from a stale imagination. Oehlschlaeger, an acknowledged outsider to the field, brings to his work a fresh imagination shaped by literary texts and a profound humanity. Hopefully many will want to emulate his work in other areas of bioethics."---Stanley Hauerwas Duke University "In this new book Fritz Oehlschlaeger has made masterful and persuasive arguments about the moral challenges looming at the beginning of human life. And he does this as a highly informed non-specialist---an English professor no less!"---Robert Benne Roanoke College
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What is Land For?

"The Food, Fuel and Climate Change Debate"

Author: Matt Lobley,Michael Winter

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136544402

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 362

View: 1939

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In recent decades agricultural commodity surpluses in the developed world have contributed to a mantra of 'land surplus' in which set-aside, extensification, alternative land uses and 'wilding' have been key terms in debates over land. Quite suddenly all this has changed as a consequence of rapidly shifting commodity markets. Prices for cereals, oil seeds and other globally traded commodities have risen sharply. A contributor to this has been the shift to bioenergy cropping, fuelled by concerns over post-peak oil and climate change. Agricultural supply chain interests have embraced the 'new environmentalism' of climate change with enthusiasm, proudly proclaiming the readiness of the industry to produce both food and energy crops, and to do so with a neo-liberal confidence in markets to determine the balance between food and non-food crops in land use. But policy and politics have not necessarily caught up with these market and industry-led changes and some environmentalists are beginning to challenge the assumptions of the new 'productivism'. Is it necessarily the case, they ask, that agriculture's best contribution to tackling climate change is to grow bioenergy crops or invest in anaerobic-digesters or make land over for windfarms? Might not there be an equally important role in maximising the carbon sequestration or water-holding properties of biodiverse land? What is Land For? tackles these key cutting-edge issues of this new debate by setting out a baseline of evidence and ideas.
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The Death of Picasso

New & Selected Writing

Author: Guy Davenport

Publisher: Open Road Media

ISBN: 150401961X

Category: Fiction

Page: 375

View: 7833

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“Davenport writes with equal imagination and verve about the tanginess of an orange, the mystery of love, quantum physics, music, and a lashing rainstorm.” —Booklist Featuring both short stories and critical pieces, The Death of Picasso exhibits the versatility and innovative thinking that drives all of Guy Davenport’s work. As a critic, he takes on topics such as Ruskin’s life and influences and Benson Bobrick’s history of English versions of the Bible, through which Davenport explores how translation has affected the text’s interpretation for centuries. Both his fiction and essays contribute to the eternal conversation on how the arts reflect, inform, and influence the human experience. In his short stories, Davenport vividly evokes entire worlds—such as that of a regatta on the Thames or an air show in Northern Italy—with an eye for telling details that typically go unnoticed. Fact and fiction combine and shift forms throughout the collection, for instance, in “The Concord Sonata” when the author manipulates time and space to put thinkers like Thoreau, Wittgenstein, and W. E. B. Du Bois in conversation. Davenport’s uninhibited imagination and singular gaze reveal both the commonplace and the sublime in a new light.
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Ted Hughes: From Cambridge to Collected

Author: M. Wormald,N. Roberts,Terry Gifford

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137276584

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 255

View: 1862

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Including a previously unpublished poem by Ted Hughes, as well as new essays from Seamus Heaney and Simon Armitage, Ted Hughes: From Cambridge to Collected offers fresh readings and newly available archival research, challenging established views about Hughes's speaking voice, study at Cambridge and the influence of other poets on Hughes's work.
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Urban Homesteading

Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living

Author: Rachel Kaplan,K. Ruby Blume

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing Inc.

ISBN: 161608054X

Category: Gardening

Page: 292

View: 2343

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Teaches self-reliance, sustainability, and green living in urban areas, from growing food with limited space and making solar cookers to raising chickens.
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Backpacking with the Saints

Wilderness Hiking as Spiritual Practice

Author: Belden C. Lane

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199394172

Category: Religion

Page: 256

View: 7169

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Carrying only basic camping equipment and a collection of the world's great spiritual writings, Belden C. Lane embarks on solitary spiritual treks through the Ozarks and across the American Southwest. For companions, he has only such teachers as Rumi, John of the Cross, Hildegard of Bingen, Dag Hammarskjöld, and Thomas Merton, and as he walks, he engages their writings with the natural wonders he encounters--Bell Mountain Wilderness with Søren Kierkegaard, Moonshine Hollow with Thich Nhat Hanh--demonstrating how being alone in the wild opens a rare view onto one's interior landscape, and how the saints' writings reveal the divine in nature. The discipline of backpacking, Lane shows, is a metaphor for a spiritual journey. Just as the wilderness offered revelations to the early Desert Christians, backpacking hones crucial spiritual skills: paying attention, traveling light, practicing silence, and exercising wonder. Lane engages the practice not only with a wide range of spiritual writings--Celtic, Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, Hindu, and Sufi Muslim--but with the fascination of other lovers of the backcountry, from John Muir and Ed Abbey to Bill Plotkin and Cheryl Strayed. In this intimate and down-to-earth narrative, backpacking is shown to be a spiritual practice that allows the discovery of God amidst the beauty and unexpected terrors of nature. Adoration, Lane suggests, is the most appropriate human response to what we cannot explain, but have nonetheless learned to love. An enchanting narrative for Christians of all denominations, Backpacking with the Saints is an inspiring exploration of how solitude, simplicity, and mindfulness are illuminated and encouraged by the discipline of backcountry wandering, and of how the wilderness itself becomes a way of knowing-an ecology of the soul.
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