Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

Posted: February 18, 2010 in Book Notes

Everett Ruess

  • “I have not tired of the wilderness; rather I enjoy its beauty and the vagrant life I lead, more keenly all the time. I prefer the saddle to the streetcar and star-sprinkled sky to a roof, the obscure and difficult trail, leading into the unknown to any paved highway, and the deep peace of the wild to the discontent bred by cities.”  – from the last letter Ruess sent to his brother, dated November 11, 1934.
  • Do you blame me then for staying here, where I feel that I belong and am one with the world around me? It is true that I miss intelligent companionship, but there are so few of whom I can share the things that mean so much to me that I have learned to contain myself.  It is enough that I am surrounded with beauty…Even from your scant description, I know that I could not bear the routine and humdrum of the life that are forced to lead. I don’t think I could ever settle down. I have know too much of the depths of life already, and I would prefer anything to an anticlimax.
  • I have always been unsatisfied with life as most people live it. Always I want to live more intensely and richly.

Estwick Evans, a pedestrious tour, of four thousand miles, through the western states and territories, during the winter and spring of 1818

  • I wished to acquire the simplicity, native feelings, and virtues of savage life; to divest myself of the factitious habits, prejudices and imperfections of civilization; … and to find, amidst the solitude and grandeur of the western wilds, more correct views of human nature and of the true interests of man. The season of snows was preferred, that I might experience the pleasure of suffering, and the novelty of danger.

Christopher McCandless

  • Deliberate living: conscious attention to the basics of life and a constant attention to your immediate environment and its concerns, example: a job, a task, a book; anything requiring efficient concentration (Circumstances has no value. It is how one relates to a situation that has value. All true meaning resides in the personal relationship to a phenomenon, what it means to you)

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