Wendell Berry citations

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Wendell Berry

Date de naissance: 5. août 1934
Autres noms:وندل بری

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Wendell Berry

Citations Wendell Berry

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„The context of love is the world.“

— Wendell Berry
Context: Professional standards, the standards of ambition and selfishness, are always sliding downward toward expense, ostentation, and mediocrity. They tend always to narrow the ground of judgment. But amateur standards, the standards of love, are always straining upward toward the humble and the best. They enlarge the ground of judgment. The context of love is the world. "The Responsibility of the Poet".

„Ask the world to reveal its quietude“

— Wendell Berry
Context: Ask the world to reveal its quietude — not the silence of machines when they are still, but the true quiet by which birdsongs, trees, bellworts, snails, clouds, storms become what they are, and are nothing else.

„We have more than we can know. We know more than we can say.“

— Wendell Berry
Context: We are alive within mystery, by miracle. "Life," wrote Erwin Chargaff, "is the continual intervention of the inexplicable." We have more than we can know. We know more than we can say. The constructions of language (which is to say the constructions of thought) are formed within experience, not the other way around. Finally we live beyond words, as also we live beyond computation and beyond theory. There is no reason whatever to assume that the languages of science are less limited than other languages.

„For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.“

— Wendell Berry
Context: I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free. "The Peace of Wild Things" in Green River Review, No. 1 (1968).

„That I
may have spoken well
at times, is not natural.
A wonder is what it is.“

— Wendell Berry
Context: Do not think me gentle because I speak in praise of gentleness, or elegant because I honor the grace that keeps this world. I am a man crude as any, gross of speech, intolerant, stubborn, angry, full of fits and furies. That I may have spoken well at times, is not natural. A wonder is what it is. A Warning To My Readers.

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„And if people lose their ability to feed themselves, how can they be said to be free?“

— Wendell Berry
Context: The issue here really is not whether international trade shall be free but whether or not it makes any sense for a country — or, for that matter, a region — to destroy its own capacity to produce its own food. How can a government, entrusted with the safety and health of its people, conscientiously barter away in the name of an economic idea that people’s ability to feed itself? And if people lose their ability to feed themselves, how can they be said to be free? "A Bad Big Idea".

„If you can control a people’s economy, you don’t need to worry about its politics; its politics have become irrelevant.“

— Wendell Berry
Context: By this time, the era of cut-and-run economics ought to be finished. Such an economy cannot be rationally defended or even apologized for. The proofs of its immense folly, heartlessness, and destructiveness are everywhere. Its failure as a way of dealing with the natural world and human society can no longer be sanely denied. That this economic system persists and grows larger and stronger in spite of its evident failure has nothing to do with rationality or, for that matter, with evidence. It persists because, embodied now in multinational corporations, it has discovered a terrifying truth: If you can control a people’s economy, you don’t need to worry about its politics; its politics have become irrelevant. If you control people’s choices as to whether or not they will work, and where they will work, and what they will do, and how well they will do it, and what they will eat and wear, and the genetic makeup of their crops and animals, and what they will do for amusement, then why should you worry about freedom of speech? In a totalitarian economy, any "political liberties" that the people might retain would simply cease to matter. If, as is often the case already, nobody can be elected who is not wealthy, and if nobody can be wealthy without dependence on the corporate economy, then what is your vote worth? The citizen thus becomes an economic subject. "Conserving Forest Communities".

„Nations and regions within nations must be left free — and should be encouraged — to develop the local food economies that best suit local needs and local conditions.“

— Wendell Berry
Context: Anybody interested in solving, rather than profiting from, the problems of food production and distribution will see that in the long run the safest food supply is a local food supply, not a supply that is dependent on a global economy. Nations and regions within nations must be left free — and should be encouraged — to develop the local food economies that best suit local needs and local conditions. "A Bad Big Idea".

„National defense through war always involves some degree of national defeat.“

— Wendell Berry
Context: National defense through war always involves some degree of national defeat. This paradox has been with us from the very beginning of our republic. Militarization in defense of freedom reduces the freedom of the defenders. There is a fundamental inconsistency between war and freedom.

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„As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it.“

— Wendell Berry
Context: As soon as the generals and the politicos can predict the motions of your mind, lose it. Leave it as a sign to mark the false trail, the way you didn't go. Be like the fox who makes more tracks than necessary, some in the wrong direction. Practice resurrection. "Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front" in Farming: A Hand Book (1970).

„We have become blind to the alternatives to violence.“

— Wendell Berry
Context: We have become blind to the alternatives to violence. This involves us in a sort of official madness, in which, while following what seems to be a perfect logic of self-defense and deterrence, we commit one absurdity after another: We seek to preserve peace by fighting a war, or to advance freedom by subsidizing dictatorships, or to "win the hearts and minds of the people" by poisoning their crops and burning their villages and confining them in concentration camps; we seek to uphold the "truth" of our cause with lies, or to answer conscientious dissent with threats and slurs and intimidations. … I have come to the realization that I can no longer imagine a war that I would believe to be either useful or necessary. I would be against any war. [http://books.google.com/books?id=-hHNuLumg8wC&pg=PA68 "A Statement Against the War in Vietnam" an address at the University of Kentucky (10 February 1968)].

„It can be guaranteed only by our willingness that all other persons should live, be free, and be at peace — and by our willingness to use or give our own lives to make that possible.“

— Wendell Berry
Context: We are disposed, somewhat by culture and somewhat by nature, to solve our problems by violence, and even to enjoy doing so. And yet by now all of us must at least have suspected that our right to live, to be free, and to be at peace is not guaranteed by any act of violence. It can be guaranteed only by our willingness that all other persons should live, be free, and be at peace — and by our willingness to use or give our own lives to make that possible.

„We're living, it seems, in the culmination of a long warfare — warfare against human beings, other creatures and the Earth itself.“

— Wendell Berry
Context: The line that connects the bombing of civilian populations to the mountain removed by strip mining … to the tortured prisoner seems to run pretty straight. We're living, it seems, in the culmination of a long warfare — warfare against human beings, other creatures and the Earth itself. [http://www.lindsey.edu/index.cgi?id=10379 Commencement address at Lindsey Wilson College (14 May 2005)].

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