Wendell Berry quotes

Wendell Berry photo
189   4

Wendell Berry

Birthdate: 5. August 1934
Other names: وندل بری

Wendell Erdman Berry is an American novelist, poet, essayist, environmental activist, cultural critic, and farmer. He is an elected member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, a recipient of The National Humanities Medal, and the Jefferson Lecturer for 2012. He is also a 2013 Fellow of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Berry was named the recipient of the 2013 Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award. On January 28, 2015, he became the first living writer to be inducted into the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame. Wikipedia

„We are alive within mystery, by miracle.“

—  Wendell Berry

Life Is A Miracle : An Essay Against Modern Superstition (2000)
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.

„The genius of America farm experts is very well demonstrated here: they can take a solution and divide it neatly into two problems.“

—  Wendell Berry

The Unsettling of America : Culture & Agriculture (1996), p. 62.
Context: Once plants and animals were raised together on the same farm — which therefore neither produced unmanageable surpluses of manure, to be wasted and to pollute the water supply, nor depended on such quantities of commercial fertilizer. The genius of America farm experts is very well demonstrated here: they can take a solution and divide it neatly into two problems.

„It is useless to try to adjudicate a long-standing animosity by asking who started it or who is the most wrong.“

—  Wendell Berry

Citizenship Papers (2003), The Failure of War
Context: It is useless to try to adjudicate a long-standing animosity by asking who started it or who is the most wrong. The only sufficient answer is to give up the animosity and try forgiveness, to try to love our enemies and to talk to them and (if we pray) to pray for them. If we can't do any of that, then we must begin again by trying to imagine our enemies' children who, like our children, are in mortal danger because of enmity that they did not cause.

„We are disposed, somewhat by culture and somewhat by nature, to solve our problems by violence, and even to enjoy doing so.“

—  Wendell Berry

Citizenship Papers (2003), The Failure of War
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.

„Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.“

—  Wendell Berry

"Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front" in Farming: A Hand Book (1970).
Poems
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.

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

—  Wendell Berry

"A Statement Against the War in Vietnam" an address at the University of Kentucky (10 February 1968) http://books.google.com/books?id=-hHNuLumg8wC&pg=PA68.
The Long-Legged House (1969)
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.

Help us translate English quotes

Discover interesting quotes and translate them.

Start translating

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

—  Wendell Berry

Commencement address at Lindsey Wilson College (14 May 2005) http://www.lindsey.edu/index.cgi?id=10379.
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.

„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

Citizenship Papers (2003), The Failure of War
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.

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

—  Wendell Berry

A Warning To My Readers.
Poems
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.

„In a modern war, fought with modern weapons and on the modern scale, neither side can limit to “the enemy” the damage that it does. These wars damage the world.“

—  Wendell Berry

Citizenship Papers (2003), The Failure of War
Context: In a modern war, fought with modern weapons and on the modern scale, neither side can limit to “the enemy” the damage that it does. These wars damage the world. We know enough by now to know that you cannot damage a part of the world without damaging all of it. Modern war has not only made it impossible to kill “combatants” without killing “noncombatants,” it has made it impossible to damage your enemy without damaging yourself.

„We have lived by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. We have been wrong.“

—  Wendell Berry

"A Native Hill"
The Long-Legged House (1969)
Context: We have lived by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. We have been wrong. We must change our lives, so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption that what is good for the world will be good for us... We must recover the sense of the majesty of the creation and the ability to be worshipful in its presence. For it is only on the condition of humility and reverence before the world that our species will be able to remain in it.

„The distinction between the intention to perpetrate violence against innocents, as in "terrorism," and the willingness to do so, as in "war," is not a source of comfort.“

—  Wendell Berry

Citizenship Papers (2003), A Citizen's Response
Context: To imply by the word "terrorism" that this sort of terror is the work exclusively of "terrorists" is misleading. The "legitimate" warfare of technologically advanced nations likewise is premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against innocents. The distinction between the intention to perpetrate violence against innocents, as in "terrorism," and the willingness to do so, as in "war," is not a source of comfort.

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

—  Wendell Berry

"Conserving Forest Communities".
Another Turn of the Crank (1996)
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.

„Love the world. Work for nothing.“

—  Wendell Berry

"Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front" http://www.context.org/ICLIB/IC30/Berry.htm in Farming: A Hand Book (1970).
Poems
Context: Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. So, friends, every day do something
that won't compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

Similar authors

H.P. Lovecraft photo
H.P. Lovecraft203
American author
Friedrich Dürrenmatt photo
Friedrich Dürrenmatt19
Swiss author and dramatist
Napoleon Hill photo
Napoleon Hill80
American author
A.A. Milne photo
A.A. Milne169
British author
Yukio Mishima photo
Yukio Mishima59
Japanese author
Robert T. Kiyosaki photo
Robert T. Kiyosaki149
American finance author , investor
David Grossman photo
David Grossman1
Israeli author
Patch Adams photo
Patch Adams10
Physician, activist, diplomat, author
Helen Keller photo
Helen Keller158
American author and political activist
John C. Maxwell photo
John C. Maxwell141
American author, speaker and pastor
Today anniversaries
Fernando Pessoa photo
Fernando Pessoa287
Portuguese poet, writer, literary critic, translator, publi… 1888 - 1935
Osamu Dazai photo
Osamu Dazai38
Japanese author 1909 - 1948
John Nash photo
John Nash23
American mathematician and Nobel Prize laureate 1928 - 2015
W.B. Yeats photo
W.B. Yeats254
Irish poet and playwright 1865 - 1939
Another 58 today anniversaries
Similar authors
H.P. Lovecraft photo
H.P. Lovecraft203
American author
Friedrich Dürrenmatt photo
Friedrich Dürrenmatt19
Swiss author and dramatist
Napoleon Hill photo
Napoleon Hill80
American author
A.A. Milne photo
A.A. Milne169
British author
Yukio Mishima photo
Yukio Mishima59
Japanese author