Sunday, December 6, 2009

Wendell Berry, You Disappoint Me

I've been reading a book called Bringing It To The Table, a collection of Wendell Berry's essays spanning over thirty decades. Yes, he is an intelligent man, who comes across as caring, respectful of life in all its forms, and very thoughtful and committed to the survival of good farming. But, I was getting the inkling that he was a Christian, one who believes in Creation and Genesis, and I sighed and shook my head. He does believe in evolution it seems, but, I find it impossible to continue to read his work and see it as valuable. People wonder why his work and call for the rescue of agriculture, farming, and food has for so long continued to not have its desired effect. For me, it would be the presence of his belief in such ridiculous ideas as Creation and Genesis. Unfortunately this belief seems to be persistent in much of the agrarian literature coming out of the States. Even in Barbara Kingsolver's work, which is so thoroughly disappointing, as I have been wanting for years to read her book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I may never read it know. For me, it just discredits so much of the value of their arguments and ideas. Loony and dated are words that come to mind. I am admittedly the most secular of people: I do not believe in God, I do not believe in the Resurrection of Christ, I do not believe in Satan, I do not believe in Heaven or Hell or Purgatory. But, all the same, I think I am done with American agrarian literature. A sad tale really.

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