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Matthew J. Franck reviews the recent Jefferson Lecture by Wendell Berry :

Can one have an off day in giving the Jefferson Lecture (an off week or month in writing it)? I’d like to think so. For judging by the text of the lecture Berry gave in Washington at the beginning of this week, his thinking can be fairly repellent. Titled “It All Turns on Affection,” his lecture is chiefly a catalogue of Berry’s hatreds.

In response, Nathan Schlueter provides a defense of Berry :

I share Matt’s disappointment with the lecture. I found it to be uncharacteristically long, at times redundant, and overall unbalanced in its treatment of corporations. Berry’s listeners heard the angry Wendell Berry, defending the things he loves that have been lost, or are in danger of being lost. But like the speech of the angry and wounded Andy Catlett to an agricultural conference in Berry’s novel  Remembering , this was not Berry’s finest moment.



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