Hannah Coulter: A Novel by Wendell Berry PDF


By Wendell Berry

"Ignorant boys, killing each one other," is simply approximately all Nathan Coulter might inform his spouse, acquaintances, and relations in regards to the conflict of Okinawa within the spring of 1945. lifestyles carried on for the group of Port William, Kentucky, as a few boys lower back from the struggle and the lives of others have been mourned. In her seventies, Nathan's spouse, Hannah, has time now to inform of the years because the battle. In Wendell Berry's unforgettable prose, we research of the Coulter's youngsters, of the Feltners and Branches, and the way survivors "live correct on."

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And, which is most to bee pittied, they are commonly the best wits, and purest receptacles of sound knowledge, that are thus corrupted. Whether it be, that they are more eagerly assaulted with vice then others; or whether they doe more easily admit any obuious impression: howeuer it be; fit it is, That all young Trauellers should receiue an Antidot against the infectious Ayre of other Countries. (A3v–A6) Edward Leigh likewise criticises the traveller who returns ‘leavened with the ill Customes and Manners of the Countries they passed through’ (Bv) and Robert Dallington cautions his travelling reader about the cultural hazards of travel: The hazards are two: of the minde, and of the body: that, by the infection of errors; this by the corruption of manners.

Cosmographie, or, the description of the worlde. Astronomie, or, the art of skill, in the course of the starres and planets. Geographie, or, the drawing and proportioning of the earth. Chorographie, or, the demonstration of Cities and Regions. Topographie, or, the protraiture [sic] of particular places. Husbandrie. Nauigation. The Politicall The Ecclesiasticall Literature. Histories. Chronicles. (Meyer B) As Louis B. Wright observed, Meyer’s ‘was not a guidebook but a syllabus of points to be observed.

Importantly, it has little practical utility; it is as idle a pursuit as playgoing, and equally unprofitable if one were to take a pragmatic stance. Yet like the theatre, there was demand for this aesthetic experience. In the final section, I ask how this experience of mind-travelling translates into the realm of the theatre, for it is evident that solitary imaginative rehearsals of reported travels, when experienced from the comfort of one’s room and under cover of darkness, will not necessarily operate in the same manner in the context of a crowded playhouse in broad daylight.

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