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Missive #215

“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 instill “a practical respect for what is there besides ourselves.” I have read a lot of Berry’s essays and liked them however this collection left me disappointed. That may not prove to be true of all readers since the Customer Review rating were good. It is long on discussing the poetry of other writers which I have little interest in reading plus the language used in the discussion is not one that I understand. He has some other books of his essays that I’ll continue to read and hope that he does not focus on poetry.

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.” — Book promo @ goodreads.com

We started the month of February with some more rain; not much for most places but 0.22″ here is a good rain. That also brought with it a return of winter with the lows in the mid 40s and the highs in the mid 60s. Maybe get some more rain on Tuesday with the temperatures remaining the same during the 10 day forecast. There has been a lot of sun so I think the snowbirds are pleased even with the cooler daytime highs.

I have made some progress getting the slideshow completed and might have the page finished by the end of the week. I’ll then start working on the second trip where I took pictures using the 110. I think the next one will be easier to do or I hope so.

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