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The Wild Birds: Six Stories of the Port…
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The Wild Birds: Six Stories of the Port William Membership (edició 2019)

de Wendell Berry (Autor)

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1764133,324 (4.34)Cap
"Berry is a superb writer. His sense of what makes characters tick is extraordinary . . . Short stories don't get any better than these." --People As part of Counterpoint's celebration of beloved American author Wendell Berry comes this reissue of his 1986 classic,The Wild Birds: Six Stories of the Port William Membership. Those stories include "Thicker Than Liquor", "Where Did They Go?", "It Wasn't Me", "The Boundary", "That Distant Land", and the titular "The Wild Birds." Spanning more than three decades, from 1930 to 1967, these wonderful stories follow Wheeler Catlett, and reintroduce readers to the beloved people who live in Berry's fictional town of Port William, Kentucky.… (més)
Membre:winejr
Títol:The Wild Birds: Six Stories of the Port William Membership
Autors:Wendell Berry (Autor)
Informació:Counterpoint (2019), 176 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
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The Wild Birds: Six Stories of the Port William Membership de Wendell Berry

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The character that holds this series of stories together is Wheeler Catlett, Andy’s father. For those who are familiar with Port William, Wheeler will be a known figure, and they will also encounter Old Jack again and Elton Penn, Burley Coulter, and of course, Andy Catlett, Berry's alter-ego.

1930 - Thicker Than Liquor. In this story I was introduced to Uncle Peach, a man I don’t recall having met before, brother to Wheeler’s mother. This story is about familial obligation and how that is passed along in families sometimes.

1947 - Where Did They Go?, is a story from Andy’s childhood, in which his father sends him off to work at the Branch place for the summer. It is a coming-of-age story in which Andy gets a glimpse of interpersonal relationships that help to inform his understanding of life.

1950 - My favorite story of the bunch is It Wasn’t Me, in which we find Wheeler, an attorney, struggling with how to execute the wishes of Old Jack regarding the disposal of his farm, when the legal cards are stacked against him. I have read [b:The Memory of Old Jack|227274|The Memory of Old Jack|Wendell Berry|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1388185370l/227274._SY75_.jpg|74221], the book devoted to this character, and I was so happy to find myself in company with Wheeler and Elton Penn and their memories of Old Jack, as he is a favorite character.

This story is full of that remarkable Wendell Berry wisdom that, if processed and followed, could make a life so much richer than it might be otherwise.

He had done this assuming, as he often did, in a world that he assumed was ruled by instinctive decency. That Clara and Glad Pettit did not inhabit that particular world, they let him know fast.

And then he would think, no longer arguing but only mourning, that the Petits were playing a different game from any that Old Jack had ever played, and living in a different world from the one he had lived in. The letter in the notebook was written in a language the Pettits did not speak; they had forgot the tongue in which an old man might cry out from his grave in love and in defense of a possibility no longer his own in this world.


1965 - The Boundary was the story included to make me cry, and I did. It is about the last days of Mat Feltner, and what it is to grow old. Berry writes about the continuity of life and the passing of the torch the best of any author I have ever encountered. He makes me long to be part of a never-ending succession of people that stretch into the future and from the past, and he forces me to see how very small and insignificant I am, and at the same time, how central and important because I am part of the whirling pool of life that has been here and witnessed the awesome beauty of just living.

Now a voice in Mat’s mind that he did not want to hear says, “Gone. All of them are gone.” And they are gone. Mat is standing by the pool, and all the others are gone, and all that time has passed. And still the stream pours into the pool and the circles slide across the face.

1965 - The Distant Land - Almost a continuation of The Boundary, we see the passing of Mat and how that influences those around him. This one is told from Andy’s point of view.

Mrs. Feltner gives Andy Mat’s shoes to work in:

Burley studied them, and then me. And then he smiled and put his arm around me, making the truth plain and bearable to us both: “You can wear ‘em honey. But you can’t fill ‘em.”

I thought about the truth of how much smaller we have all become than our ancestors who worked this land and knew it so well. I have never thought anyone could fill my Daddy’s shoes, or for that matter, wear my mother’s apron.

1967 - The Wild Birds, our last story, brings with it Burley Coulter, one of my favorite citizens of Port William. He is a very down-to-earth man, in this story trying to square his life through the making of his will. He makes a comment about the younger generation (note that in 1967, that would have included me).

They began to go and not come back--or a lot more did than had before. And now look at how many are gone--the old ones dead and gone that won’t ever be replaced, the mold they were made in done throwed away, and the young ones dead in wars or killed in damned automobiles, or gone off to college and made too smart ever to come back, or gone off to easy money and bright lights and ain’t going to work in the sun ever again if they can help it. I see them come back here to funerals--people who belong here, or did once, looking down into coffins at people they don't have anything left in common with except a name.

I always feel nostalgic and happy and calmer and sadder when I close the pages of a Wendell Berry book. It is appropriate that I started this one over the Thanksgiving weekend, because Berry makes me thankful for the world I once knew, that I had the privilege to know it before it mostly disappeared; and he makes me thankful that he has put all those people and memories down on paper, so that in the smallest way the generations after me can know it as well. ( )
  mattorsara | Aug 11, 2022 |
Explores the complex bonds between generations and the ways in which a neighborhood is shaped by its common ties to the land.
  PendleHillLibrary | Mar 2, 2017 |
This collection was what introduced me to Wendell Berry, I was fortunate enough to not only get him to sign my copy, but be a part of a discussion with him on this collection as well as his passion of Jeffersonian Democracy and agrarianism. He is a Kentucky treasure. ( )
  lostinmommydom | Aug 14, 2007 |
This book introduced me to Mr. Berry's fiction. I'd been reading his essays for quite a few years when I came upon a remaindered copy of this. I didn't realize at the time that the opening story, "Thicker Than Liquor," of Wheeler Catlett fetching "Uncle Peach" from his latest binge would lead me eventually to read every single story of Port William, KY ... a happy binge of my own from which I have never quite returned.

Many years later, Mr. Berry signed my copy. ( )
  brtom | Jan 21, 2006 |
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"Berry is a superb writer. His sense of what makes characters tick is extraordinary . . . Short stories don't get any better than these." --People As part of Counterpoint's celebration of beloved American author Wendell Berry comes this reissue of his 1986 classic,The Wild Birds: Six Stories of the Port William Membership. Those stories include "Thicker Than Liquor", "Where Did They Go?", "It Wasn't Me", "The Boundary", "That Distant Land", and the titular "The Wild Birds." Spanning more than three decades, from 1930 to 1967, these wonderful stories follow Wheeler Catlett, and reintroduce readers to the beloved people who live in Berry's fictional town of Port William, Kentucky.

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