By Wendell Berry
Half ribald farce, half lyrical contemplation, Wendell Berry's novel is the tale of a place-Port William, Kentucky-the farm lands and forests that encompass it, and the river that runs within reach. The rhythms of this novel are the rhythms of the land. a spot in the world resonates with diversifications performed on topics of swap; looping transitions from struggle into peace, wintry weather into spring, browning flood destruction into greening fields, absence into presence, misplaced into chanced on. This brings the revised 1983 version again into print, the subsequent publication in our application to place all of Wendell Berry's fiction into print in revised and corrected uniform versions.
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Extra resources for A Place on Earth: A Novel
There she has an experience all writers will recognize: the weird and unsettling drought of writer’s block. “One anxious scribe felt very dull that day. . The sentences failed to catch these lovely summer cadences. . ” The narrator’s fierce determination to create space and time for her work, her unsentimental (indeed, unremarked-upon) lack of family, husband or children, and her affinity for other unattached citizens of Dunnet Landing prefigures the feminists of the twentieth century. In an odd way, Jewett seems to belong more to the current century than to her own—more a Virginia Woolf than an Emily Brontë.
Todd over the picket fence. The conversation became at once professional after the briefest preliminaries, and he would stand twirling a sweet-scented sprig in his fingers, and make suggestive jokes, perhaps about her faith in a too persistent course of thoroughwort elixir, in which my landlady professed such firm belief as sometimes to endanger the life and usefulness of worthy neighbors. To arrive at this quietest of seaside villages late in June, when the busy herb-gathering season was just beginning, was also to arrive in the early prime of Mrs.
And as I sit here now on the coast of Maine today—on a rock roughly midway between the South Berwick of Jew-ett’s youth and the Dunnet Landing of her imagination—I think of Jewett’s love affair with place and the sounding of her own tuning fork. A profound sense of contradiction informs Jewett’s novel and her characters: A tough shell hides a tender sensibility; a sturdy, no-nonsense woman is suddenly awash in stirred memories; a woman living a rugged life alone on a barren island is the soul of genteel hospitality.
A Place on Earth: A Novel by Wendell Berry