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January1999
The Memory of Old Jack
by Wendell Berry

The Author’s Voice
Selected quotations from other works by Wendell Berry



I think that the idea that literature should instruct and delight is perfectly sound, provided we understand that it must do both at once.

“A Question a Day: A Written
Conversation with Wendell Berry”
Wendell Berry
1991, Confluence Press
Paul Merchant, ed.



The arguments that rise out of the machine metaphor—arguments for cheapness, efficiency, labor-saving, economic growth, etc.—all point to infinite industrial growth and infinite energy consumption. ... [W]e have no evidence that these lie within our reach, much less within our responsibility. It is more likely that we will have either to live within our limits, within the human definition, or not live at all.

The Unsettling of America
1977


From a human point of view, the difference between the mind of a human and that of a mountain goat is wonderful; from the point of view of the infinite ignorance that surrounds us, the difference is not impressive. Indeed, from that point of view, the goat may have the better mind, for he is more congenially adapted to his place, and he would not endanger his species or his planet for the sake of an idea.

“A Question a Day: A Written
Conversation with Wendell Berry”
Wendell Berry
1991, Confluence Press
Paul Merchant, ed.

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