Standing by Words
An urgent, visionary, and heartfelt collection of essays focused on recovering deeper, time-honored values against the ravages of modern society.
In six elegant, linked literary essays, Berry considers the degeneration of language that is manifest throughout our culture, from poetry to politics, from conversation to advertising, and he shows how the ever-widening cleft between the words and their referents mirrors the increasing isolation of individuals and their communities from the land.
“This skillfully conceived book is one of the strongest contemporary arguments for literary tradition: a challenging credo, un-glib, calmly assured, clearly illuminating—and required reading for those seriously interested in the interplay between literature, ethics, and morality.” —Kirkus Reviews
“[Berry’s] poems, novels and essays . . . are probably the most sustained contemporary articulation of America’s agrarian, Jeffersonian ideal.” —Publishers Weekly