By Wendell Berry
Half ribald farce, half lyrical contemplation, Wendell Berry's novel is the tale of a place-Port William, Kentucky-the farm lands and forests that encompass it, and the river that runs close by. The rhythms of this novel are the rhythms of the land. a spot in the world resonates with diversifications performed on issues of swap; looping transitions from struggle into peace, iciness into spring, browning flood destruction into greening fields, absence into presence, misplaced into chanced on. This brings the revised 1983 version again into print, the following publication in our software to place all of Wendell Berry's fiction into print in revised and corrected uniform versions.
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I only took them medals off to give them back to Burke. It was the day he was made first sergeant. He was sitting alone in the orderly room - the guy was always alone - at about half past eight at night. I went over to him and laid his medals down on the desk; they was all pinned together and wrapped in a handkerchief, like when he chucked them on my bunk. But Burke, he didn't look up. He had a set of kid's crayons on his desk, and he was drawing a pitcher of a girl with red hair. Burke, he could draw real good.
I knew what was eating her. I know her inside out, her every mood like. "Okay," I said. "You're sore because we went out tonight. " Ruthie says. "I love that. Once in a while. " "It hasn't been seven nights a week," I said. And it hadn't! We hadn't come out the night before. I mean we had a beer at Gordon's, but we came right home and all. " Ruthie said. "Okay. Let's drop it. " I asked her, very quiet like, what was I supposed to do. Sit around home like a dope every night? Stare at the walls? Listen to the baby bawl its head off?
One last attempt was made. " Professor Voorhees asked. For answer, Sonny dismissed the cab he had hailed. He turned and made his reply, scrupulously for him. "Professor, I want to hear the music. I'm a man who goes to night clubs. I can't stand going into a night club and hearing some little girl sing Lou Gangin's 33 The Varioni Brothers words to my music. I'm not Mozart. I don't write symphonies. I write songs. Joe's lyrics are the best- jazz, torch, or rhythm, his are the best. " Sonny lighted a cigarette, got rid of smoke through thinned lips.