“The dominant story of our age, undoubtedly, is that of adultery and divorce. This is true both literally and figuratively: The dominant tendency of our age is the breaking of faith and the making of divisions among things that were once joined.

This story obviously must be told by somebody. Perhaps, in one form or another, it must be told (because it must be experienced) by everybody.

But how has it been told, and how ought it be told?

This is a critical question, but not a question merely for art criticism. The story can be told in a way that clarifies, that makes imaginable and compassionable, the suffering and the costs; or it can be told in a way that seems to grant and easy permission and absolution to adultery and divorce.

Can literature, for example, be written according to standards that are not merely literary?

Obviously it can. And it had better be.”

Wendell Berry, Life is a Miracle