Port William and the town’s self-appointedrnsophisticate, are flesh and blood. Havingrncome to Port William in her superficialrnlove for Roy Overhold, a native son,rnCecelia proceeds to lord it over therntownspeople with her own superior upbringingrnand “refined” tastes. “She didrnnot like Port William pronunciation, diction,rnand grammar,” Jayber explains.rn”She did not like its public loafing andrnspitting. She did not like its preoccupationrnwith crops, livestock, food, hunting,rnfishing, and weather. She did not like itsrntaste in church windows. And so on.”rnCecelia is afflicted with what Henry Jamesrnonce called a “mania for the huge andrnswelling.” Her ideal town is Los Angeles,rnwhere her sister resides: “California, inrnCecelia’s mind, was the one Utopia of thernworld.” Like every Utopian, Cecelia hasrnrigid ideas regarding the good life, and shernperpetually attempts to implement thosernideas on her fellow Port Williamites,rnwhether they want them or not.rnOther enemies lack a human face butrnare even more devastating in their effect:rnwar, for instance, and mass mechanization.rnIn one of the novel’s most powerfulrnchapters, “A Period of Darkness,” Jayberrnsummarizes the toll World War II takesrnon Port William, robbing it of its sons andrnbrothers and nephews and leaving thosernbehind in constant, silent dread of whatrnthey come to call the News—the confirmationrnthat they have lost et another ofrntheir voung men.rnPort William .. . had not causedrnthe war . . . Port William has to sufferrnwhat it did not make. I havernpondered for years, and I can’t connectrnPort William and war exceptrnby death and suffering. No morerncan I think of Port William and thernUnited States in the same thought.rnA nation is an idea, and Port Williamrnis not. Maybe there is no livernconnection between a little placernand a big idea. I think there is not.rnThe greatest champion of mechanizedrnfarming in Port William is TroyrnChatham, an erstwhile sports hero andrnnovice farmer who, unlike his father-inlawrnAthev Keith, has no rexerence for thernland he is working. According to Jayber,rnTroy “thought the land existed to servernand enlarge him.” He shares CeceliarnOverhold’s love of the big, the fast, the efficient.rnHe is among the first farmers inrnPort William to use mechanized laborrnand is a regular sight plowing soil with hisrnnew tractor while his father-in-law standsrnby in uncertain awe. Athey, on the otherrnhand, is the “farm’s farmer, but also itsrncreature and belonging. He lived its life,rnand it lived his; he knew that, of the twornlives, his was meant to be the smaller andrnthe shorter.” Athev takes the long view:rnHe knows he is supposed to take from thernland what he needs and no more; hernknows it will be here long after he is gonernbut only in the shape he has left it. Unfortunately,rnTroy’s view seems to be winning,rnwhile all men such as Athey andrnJayber can do is stand by and watch thernresult emerging.rnI do not mean to imply that jayberrnCrow is a polemic garbed in fictionalrnclothing. It is a full-fledged novel, pulsingrnwith real people and events. Its heartrnis the exquisite storv of Jayber’s lifelongrnlove for Mattie Chatham, Troy’s wife,rnwhom Jayber has worshiped from afar forrnmore than 40 years. It is a chaste love, asrnpure as Jayber’s love for his land and itsrnpeople. Not being a modern man, Jayberrndoes not inoan and rant about the injusticesrnof the world. He merely takes thingsrnas thev are and goes on. crnTHE ROCKFORD INSTITUTE’S FOURTH ANNUAL SUMMER SCHOOLrn”The American Midwest”rnJuly 24-28, 2001rnThomas Fleming, Chilton Williamson, Jr., Aaron D. Wolf, Scott P. Richert, Justin Raimondo,rnand special guest Anthony BukoskirnonrnSinclair Lewis, Booth Tarkington, Louis Bromfield, Sterling l^lorth, Laura Ingalls WilderrnandrnBoh LaFollette, William Jennings Bryan, Robert Taftrnand otherrnProgressives, Populists, Copperheads, and America FirstersrnBeautiful riverfront accommodationsrnat Rockford’s premier hotel:rnCliffbreakers Convention CenterrnDinners at Rockford’s best local restaurantsrnFull Registrationrn(double occupancy)”$450.00rn(single occupancy) “$550.00rn(includes lodging, dinner,rnand all lectures and events)rnFor more information and commuter rates, contact:rnChristopher Check, Executive Vice President (815) 964-5811rnMARCH 2001/31rnrnrn