I may have waited to long to read Wendell Berry’s essays. In fact, I’m sure I did. I borrowed Life Is a Miracle – An Essay against Modern Superstition from a friend of mine, and found it to be cardboard.
I love much of his poetry, and was superdelighted to see the play of his life, created entirely with his poetry, at the Humana Festival a couple of years ago. But the thinking in this book is too dry, and does not seem to believe in miracles. – or in much of joy. The modern superstition he mentions is largely about our ingrained belief that science can solve everything, that life is mechanical, that more and better machines will get us there.
But even that is of the wrong century, and is cold and lifeless. Somehow he’s lost track of the juice that filled his life up until now. And somehow he’s missed all the great stuff the kids are doing, the new world being invented as the old blasts itself apart. He’s tilting at windmills that our new culture is simply passing by – no point in tilting at them.
So I was not even able to finish it. I cherish the juicy Wendell in his poems.