A World Lost: A Novel (Port William)

BOOK: A World Lost: A Novel (Port William)
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WENDELL BERRY

Andy Catlett

Hannah Coulter

Jayber Crow

The Memory of Old Jack

Nathan Coulter

A Place on Earth

Remembering

That Distant Land

A World Lost

Also by Wendell Berry
FICTION

Andy Catlett

Hannah Coulter

Fidelity

Jayber Crow

The Memory of Old Jack

Nathan Coulter

A Place on Earth

Remembering

That Distant Land

Watch With Me

The Wild Birds

POETRY

The Broken Ground

Clearing

Collected Poems: 1957-1982

The Country of Marriage

Entries

Farming: A Hand Book

Findings

Openings

A Part

Sabbaths

Sayings and Doings

The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry (1998)

A Timbered Choir

The Wheel

ESSAYS

The Way of Ignorance

Another Turn of the Crank

The Art of the Commonplace

Citizenship Papers

A Continuous Harmony

The Gift of Good Land

Harlan Hubbard: Life and Work

The Hidden Wound

Home Economics

Life Is a Miracle

Long-Legged House

Recollected Essays: 1965-198o

Sex, Economy, Freedom and Community

Standing by Words

The Unforeseen Wilderness

The Unsettling of America

What Are People For?

WENDELL BERRY

 
A World Lost
a novel

The dead rise and walk about
The timeless fields of thought

 
A World Lost
 
1

It was early July, bright and hot; I was staying with my grandmother and
grandfather Catlett. My brother, Henry-who might have been there
with me; we often made our family visits together-was at home at our
house down at Hargrave. For several good and selfish reasons, I did not
regret his absence. When we were apart we did not fight, we did not have
to decide who would get what we both wanted, we did not have to trump
up disagreements just to keep from agreeing. The day would come when
there would be harmony between us and we would be allies, but we had
many a trifle to quarrel over before then.

Uncle Andrew, who often ate dinner at Grandma Catlett's, was at work
upon the river at Stoneport, as he had been for a week already. He had refused to take me with him. This was in the summer of 1944, when I was
nine, nearly ten. The war had made building materials scarce. My father
and Uncle Andrew, along with Uncle Andrew's buddies, Yeager Stump
and Buster Simms, had bought the buildings of a defunct lead mine at
Stoneport with the idea of salvaging the lumber and sheet metal to build
some barns. The work was heavy and somewhat dangerous; it was going
to take a long time. I could not go because I was too short in the push-up.
I felt a little blemished by Uncle Andrew's refusal, and I missed him. Now
and again I experienced the tremor of my belief that the adventure of
Stoneport had been subtracted from me forever. But I was reconciled. As
I was well aware, there were advantages to my solitude.

No day at Grandma and Grandpa's was ever the same as any other,
but there were certain usages that I tried to follow, especially when I was
there alone. That afternoon, as soon as I could escape attention, I knew I
would go across the field to Fred Brightleaf's. Fred and I would catch
Rufus Brightleaf's past-work old draft horse, Prince, and ride him over
to the pond for a swim. And after supper, when Grandma and Grandpa
would be content just to sit on the front porch in the dark, and you could
feel the place growing lonesome for other times, I would drift away down
to the little house beside the woods where Dick Watson and Aunt Sarah
Jane lived. While the light drained from the sky and night fell I would sit
with Dick on the rock steps in front of the door and listen to him tell of
the horses and mules and foxhounds he remembered, while Aunt Sarah
Jane spoke biblical admonitions from the lamplit room behind us; to her,
Judgment Day was as much a matter of fact, and as visible, as the Fourth
of July.

BOOK: A World Lost: A Novel (Port William)
12.13Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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