When I was doing my M.A., Wendell Berry‘s office was a few doors down from mine. We didn’t talk much, although he’d occasionally chuckle at me when he saw me carrying double armloads of student journals from the elevator to my office. I didn’t really realize how big a deal he was at the time, a mistake I also made regarding Guy Davenport and John Shawcross (a pre-eminent Milton scholar), and that I’ve tried not to repeat elsewhere in my life.
In any case, the folks at Pileus (where they’re celebrating their second blogiversary — congrats, y’all) offered a nifty quote from Wendell yesterday, and I thought I’d pass it along:
I wish to testify that in my best moments I am not aware of the existence of the government. Though I respect and feel myself dignified by the principles of the Declaration and the Constitution, I do not remember a day when the thought of the government made me happy, and I never think of it without the wish that it might become wiser and truer and smaller than it is.
That’s restaurant-quality, right there.