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Standing by Words: Essays

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In these six essays, Wendell 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 words and their referents mirrors the increasing isolation of individuals from their communities and of their communities from the land.

Book News Annotation:

In six linked essays, Berry considers the degeneration of language that he finds manifest throughout American culture, from poetry to politics, from conversation to advertising. He shows how the ever-widening cleft between words and referents mirrors the increasing isolation of individuals from their communities and of their communities from the land. These essays were originally published in various magazines and have been edited for this edition, which is the third volume of a series of Berry's essays.
Annotation 2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

In these six essays, award-winning author Wendell 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 words and their referents mirrors the increasing isolation of individuals from their communities and of their communities from the land. From the essay, Standing by Words, Berry writes, “Two epidemic illnesses of our time—upon both of which virtual industries of cures have been founded—are the disintegration of communities and the disintegration of persons. That these two are related (that private loneliness, for example, will necessarily accompany public confusion) is clear enough. What seems not so well understood, because not so much examined, is the relation between these disintegrations and the disintegration of language. My impression is that we have seen, for perhaps a hundred and fifty years, a gradual increase in language that is either meaningless or destructive of meaning. And I believe that this increasing unreliability of language parallels the increasing disintegration, over the same period, of persons and communities.” Out-of-print for more than fifteen years, Standing by Words offers a masterfully written argument for the literary tradition.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781593760557
Subtitle:
Essays
Publisher:
Counterpoint
Author:
Berry, Wendell
Subject:
Reference
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
Theory
Subject:
Sociolinguistics
Subject:
English philology
Subject:
LITERARY CRITICISM / Reference
Subject:
Anthologies-Essays
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20050113
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
8 x 5 in 8.5 oz

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Standing by Words: Essays
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Product details 224 pages Shoemaker & Hoard - English 9781593760557 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
In these six essays, award-winning author Wendell 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 words and their referents mirrors the increasing isolation of individuals from their communities and of their communities from the land. From the essay, Standing by Words, Berry writes, “Two epidemic illnesses of our time—upon both of which virtual industries of cures have been founded—are the disintegration of communities and the disintegration of persons. That these two are related (that private loneliness, for example, will necessarily accompany public confusion) is clear enough. What seems not so well understood, because not so much examined, is the relation between these disintegrations and the disintegration of language. My impression is that we have seen, for perhaps a hundred and fifty years, a gradual increase in language that is either meaningless or destructive of meaning. And I believe that this increasing unreliability of language parallels the increasing disintegration, over the same period, of persons and communities.” Out-of-print for more than fifteen years, Standing by Words offers a masterfully written argument for the literary tradition.
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