Tuesday, April 24, 2012

"It All Turns on Affection"

Mr. Berry from the second row(!)
My friends and I went to see Wendell Berry give the 2012 Jefferson Lecture at the Kennedy Center last night. His lecture, "It All Turns on Affection," was quintessentially Wendellian and traced essentially every line of his thought from localism to scale to husbandry to homemaking. You can read more about the lecture here. While I have read many of his essays and some of his fiction, I have not yet read much of his poetry. Last night, Bobbie Ann Mason read a rather moving poem, "VI," from his collection Leavings and now I can say that I intend to read more.

The audience made my friends and I laugh a bit. It was a fantastic mix of Who's Who in this very small subset of conservative thought with grungy agrarian-looking types, a few of whom looked like they had just come from camping out in McPherson Square. It's a big tent.

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