Tara's Reviews > The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

The Art of the Commonplace by Wendell Berry
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's review
Jul 22, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: ecology, most-beloved

Oh man, I am passionately devoted to Wendell Berry. I say too many things sarcastically, but I am dead serious. I can pinpoint the moment when I looked up and said "Oh, I am in love with this author's mind.I am becoming a fucking farmer and moving to Asheville and growing my own vegetables and reading Wendell everyday." That is what happened to me, people. He is right about everything. It sounds weird, but I am so serious. Wendell Berry is excellent and fantastic and phenomenal and makes me want to play tag in the hayfield and then pluck tomatoes from the vines and homeschool my children. Weird, but true.
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Quotes Tara Liked

Wendell Berry
“In a society in which nearly everybody is dominated by somebody else's mind or by a disembodied mind, it becomes increasingly difficult to learn the truth about the activities of governments and corporations, about the quality or value of products, or about the health of one's own place and economy.
In such a society, also, our private economies will depend less and less upon the private ownership of real, usable property, and more and more upon property that is institutional and abstract, beyond individual control, such as money, insurance policies, certificates of deposit, stocks, and shares. And as our private economies become more abstract, the mutual, free helps and pleasures of family and community life will be supplanted by a kind of displaced or placeless citizenship and by commerce with impersonal and self-interested suppliers...
Thus, although we are not slaves in name, and cannot be carried to market and sold as somebody else's legal chattels, we are free only within narrow limits. For all our talk about liberation and personal autonomy, there are few choices that we are free to make. What would be the point, for example, if a majority of our people decided to be self-employed?
The great enemy of freedom is the alignment of political power with wealth. This alignment destroys the commonwealth - that is, the natural wealth of localities and the local economies of household, neighborhood, and community - and so destroys democracy, of which the commonwealth is the foundation and practical means.”
Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

Reading Progress

02/01/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Alasdair Martin Best book review on here ever! lol

I'm looking forward to reading it even more now!

message 2: by Steve (new)

Steve D Wow, Tara, that's some review. I'm sitting in the bookstore now, Berry's book on the table in front of me. Guess I'll have to buy it now.

message 3: by Aaron (new)

Aaron ...makes me want to play tag in the hayfield and then pluck tomatoes from the vines and homeschool my children. Weird, but true.

Why not?

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