Imagination in Place

Imagination in Place 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 o

  • Title: Imagination in Place
  • Author: Wendell Berry
  • ISBN: 9781582435626
  • Page: 186
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 instillA 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.

    One thought on “Imagination in Place”

    1. This is a marvelous collection of essays, immensely readable, immensely wise. Most of the essays are in some way literary, either about Berry's own imagination and art or about a handful of the writers who have meant the most to him. As often is the case with essays by writers on other writers, we are doubly blessed: we gain insight not only into the writers about which Berry deeply cares (he's a fine, sensitive reader), but also, and even more profoundly, into the mind and art of Berry himself. [...]

    2. This is a collection of essays, and I suppose it is inevitable that I would have a rather high opinion of it, since I agree with much of Wendell Berry's commentary on life, culture, society. But I am glad it took me so long to finish, having read the first essay a year ago and only picked it back up a few days ago. I think I needed to be in a certain place and time to truly understand much of what he wrote here and feel it so viscerally. I particularly recommend the following essays: The Uses of [...]

    3. Wonderful essays, most about other authors who have a strong focus on the place they call or called home Last one about a denier of God and tears apart his argument without taking a stand pro or con. Really thoughtful book

    4. Berry collects 15 essays on topics and people dear to him, along the way offering a story of his own relationship to writing and a point of view of his country.The first two essays--in breathtaking originality, scope, and relevance, and patience not least--lay the groundwork for the rest of the book and prove a thesis postulated nearly 50 years prior.Berry begins by relating his choice to move from New York back home to Kentucky in 1964. As a graduate of Stanford's writing program (taught by Wal [...]

    5. As with all Wendell Berry works, this collection of essays is an odyssey, a journey through literary and physiographic landscapes with the intentions of bringing together two powerful, but oft-disparate, worlds: Poetry and Geography, or, more accurately, Poetry and "the Land."Berry's arguments for "the Local" are eloquent and well-spent on a task as esoteric as literary criticism. In some sense, I feel as though Berry here provides for the literary person a fine example of the purpose of literar [...]

    6. The hearer. The believer. The reader- the art of it. We obviously need to speak from time to time of the things that move us. Unfold us. A sort of innocent. Trying. To see. Imagine. A good enough. Get back in. A civilization to match the scenery. The human mystery all art praises. The signature of thought- long becoming. I disappear. I get back in. Passion should be used well. Paradise is a state of being in harmony with imagination. We are destroying - everything we have worked so hard for . Be [...]

    7. Mark read these essays to me while I stitched on various projects. Berry's forthright style and down-to-earthness we're so refreshing. I want to assign his last essay - God, Science & Imagination - as a reading in a class just to blow my students' minds.

    8. I have now read ten book length or, like this, collections of Wendell Berry's essays. This is the latest and it distinguishes itself in that itis the first collection of his essays I have read that is entirely devoted to the process of writing and other writers.As is customary with me, I will read this again. I am a beginning artist, and, although my art is visual rather than literary, it is very useful to read the insights of a thoughtful artist exploring his art, his process, and his fellow ar [...]

    9. Though I read a few scattered essays first and a book of short stories (Fidelity), it was Berry's poetry which first grabbed me. Then I fell in love with his fictional town of Port William and his characters. Only then did I re-engage with his essays with renewed interest. As a shepherd without a sheep, I read Berry's agrarian essays in the bastardized way commended by Eugene Peterson, adjusting what Berry says on farming to the realm of pastoral ministry. This book requires no such adjustment, [...]

    10. Wendell Berry is irreverent, you have to love a author who adds a word like "smartassery" to your vocabulary. He writes about how each farm has unique properties such as hydrology, weather, topography, soils, etc. This demands that each farmer learn how to generate food by knowing and understanding a particular piece of land. The secessionist movement in Vermont is described as "vigorous and strictly principled." Berry wants us to imagine an America more lenient on the land that supports life as [...]

    11. In reading this book, Wendell Berry led me to poets I hadn't yet discovered that I now have put on my to read list - Jane Kenyon and Hayden Carruth. A recommendation from Wendell Berry is high praise indeed. I was fascinated by Berry's essays in the first part of the book about authentic writing set in a real place and dear friends with whom he has shared the journey of balancing real work and writing. I have to admit however, that I lost interest in the two last essays, thus the rare Wendell Be [...]

    12. I really enjoyed this collection of essays by Berry. In the first half, he speaks at length about several of his influences and friends; reading those reflections were valuable in gaining a fuller understanding of the mind of Berry, and from whence it comes. Those not discussing Berry's influences/friends generally each illustrate Berry using his sense of imagination and his keen eye as a reader to analyze a text or discuss an issue. Overall, the collection reveals Berry as a man faithful to the [...]

    13. "With love, in friendship." p.110"As I seem to be confessing, I have grown or aged into difficulty in distinguishing between art and life. The reason may be that the difference is not always as neat or convincing as I used to think. When we make our art we are also making our lives, and I am sure that the reverse is equally true. When Jim wrote in one of his more recent poems that 'Light and dark became my sudden work,' so brilliantly using that adjective, he was talking about photography surely [...]

    14. Always insightful and thought-provoking, Wendell Berry assembles another fine book of essays on imagination, in several of its many formscial, spiritual, literary and philosophical. In some pieces, he also honors and extols the virtues of some of his own literary colleagues and heroes.Wallace Stegner, Hayden Carruth, Kathleen Raine and even Shakespeare. As always, he brings to each conversation new and deeper perspectives and a fond appreciation for the people and ideas he believes in.

    15. I never knew Wendell Berry was such a fine literary critic. He introduced me in this book to several new poets that I had never heard of before, whose writing is beautiful. My favorite essays in this book are "The Uses of Adversity" and "God, Science, and Imagination." I can't imagine why they aren't better known. Every atheist and religious person (i.e. everyone) would come away better for having read "God, Science, and Imagination."

    16. Few writers say as much in as little--such elegant writing!Finished this amazing and provocative collection this morning. Grateful that such a person-writer is still around. Elegant, thoughtful, lovingly, even gently critical. Self-reflective and often demanding in his ability, born out if his love of the land, to make me see the beauty and grief of the world and our destruction of it.

    17. "American Imagination and the Civil War" is one of the best anti-violence essays I've ever read. Of course, I'm by no means well-read, so it doesn't take much to blow my feeble mind, but this piece of writing did just that. If you enjoyed "Life is a Miracle", this book should be filed under "MUST READ ASAP."

    18. A wonderful idea executed with all the abilities of Wendell. Each essay examines his debt to some author or work as regards his own writing. It also wonderfully weaves the notion of "imagination" into every essay, rewarding the reader with an extended and varied meditation on this greatly neglected, deconstructed, and misunderstood word. Must reading for writers, great reading for everyone.

    19. This is a departure from the other books of Berry's essays that I've so far read. Here the focus is on his literary inspirations and friends, so although it doesn't speak to me so deeply or profoundly as say "Life is a Miracle" or "Another Turn of the Crank," it is a book to open other books. And there's no mean value in that.

    20. A very laid back collection of essay. American Imagination and the civil war has been stuck with me in the two weeks that I read it. These essays show Wendell's love for the people and literature that have affected him most.

    21. I didn't always agree with Berry's worldview in this collection of essays but his idea of imagining oneself within the context of your locality is essential to living, to writing, and to reading and understanding the culture of American life.

    22. I don't usually read books on writing or poetry and am totally unqualified to review it. From this book I will take away the idea that imagination is not just idle daydreaming but a way of knowing, a way of forming relationships with the world around me, and I am very grateful for that.

    23. A wide range of topics are covered in these essays. Snippets of poems are woven in the ones that explore certain poets works adding an additional bit of information and depth.

    24. Interesting, but, as most of the essays were on Berry's writing or other authors I've hardly heard of, probably not the best introduction to Wendell Berry.

    25. A collection of essays that varied in their ability to draw me in, but on the whole were satisfying. The relation to "place" is sometimes oblique, but never absent.

    26. I liked this book. It would be a good one to have at home to refer to at various times. Very well written, lovely authors "voice", easy to pick up for just a chapter at a time.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *