Imagination in Place by Wendell Berry

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Synopsis

A writer who can imagine the “community belonging to its place” is one who has applied his knowledge and citizenship to achieve the goal to which Wendell Berry has always aspired—to be a native to his own local culture. And for Berry, what is “local, fully imagined, becomes universal,” and the “local” is to know one’s place and allow the imagination to inspire and instill “a practical respect for what is there besides ourselves.”

In Imagination in Place, we travel to the local cultures of several writers important to Berry’s life and work, from Wallace Stegner’s great West and Ernest Gaines’ Louisiana plantation life to Donald Hall’s New England, and on to the Western frontier as seen through the Far East lens of Gary Snyder. Berry laments today’s dispossessed and displaced, those writers and people with no home and no citizenship, but he argues that there is hope for the establishment of new local cultures in both the practical and literary sense.

Rich with Berry’s personal experience of life as a Kentucky agrarian, the collection includes portraits of a few of America’s most imaginative writers, including James Still, Hayden Carruth, Jane Kenyon, John Haines, and several others.


 

About Wendell Berry

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Wendell Berry is the author of more than fifty books of poetry, fiction, and essays. He was recently awarded the National Humanities Medal, the Cleanth Brooks Medal for Lifetime Achievement by the Fellowship of Southern Writers, and the Louis Bromfield Society Award. For more than forty years he has lived and farmed with his wife, Tanya, in Kentucky.
 
Published January 10, 2010 by Counterpoint. 208 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Literature & Fiction, Science & Math, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Imagination in Place

Publishers Weekly

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Berry, an outspoken cultural critic, agrarian and prolific author (with more than 50 books), writes that imagination ""brings what we want and what we have ever closer to being the same.

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New York Journal of Books

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The work we make is the work we are living by, and not in the hope of making literary history, but in the hope of using, correcting so far as we are able, and passing on the art of human life, of human flourishing, which includes the art of reading and writing poetry.”Defying New Criticism and th...

Jan 19 2010 | Read Full Review of Imagination in Place

Christian Science Monitor

In 50 books of poetry, essays, and fiction, Wendell Berry has argued for the value of small-scale farming and against unbridled development.

Feb 09 2010 | Read Full Review of Imagination in Place

Oregon Live

View full size"By an interworking of chance and choice, I have happened to live nearly all my life in a place I don't remember not knowing," Wendell Berry writes at the outset of "Imagination in Place," the lead essay in a new collection of the same name.

Mar 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Imagination in Place

Bookmarks Magazine

And for Berry, what is “local, fully imagined, becomes universal,” and the “local” is to know one’s place and allow the imagination to inspire and instill “a practical respect for what is there besides ourselves.”

In Imagination in Place, we travel to the local cultures of several ...

Feb 15 2010 | Read Full Review of Imagination in Place

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