Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wendell Berry on Writing and Telling the Truth

Apparently an English/writing teacher wrote to Wendell Berry and asked him what he would say to her students, and got a letter in reply. This is part of what he wrote:
The thought that I keep returning to is this: By taking up the study of writing now, you are assuming consciously, probably for the first time in your lives, a responsibility for our language. What is that responsibility? I think it is to make words mean what they say. It is to keep our language capable of telling the truth.
There is more, though it is (not surprisingly) short. Go read the whole thing, however, because it is certainly worth it.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, Brad. I've been teaching Creative Writing for about 15 years and I wrote to Wendell Berry because he was a graduate of the private school where I taught writing. He was very kind to respond with this letter and it greatly encouraged and focused my students. Many have gone on to multiple published essays and truth-telling poems.