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Jon Krakauer Quotes
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Jon Krakauer Quote: “There were many, many fine reasons not to go, but attempting to climb Everest is an intrinsically irrational act – a triumph of desire over sensibility. Any person who would seriously consider it is almost by definition beyond the sway of reasoned argument.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “I didn’t doubt the potential value of paying attention to subconscious cues... problem was, my inner voice resembled Chicken Little: it was screaming that I was about to die, but it did that almost every time I laced up my climbing boots.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “The revelation that he was merely human, and frightfully so, was beyond my power to forgive.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “It is easy, when you are young, to believe that what you desire is no less than what you deserve, to assume that if you want something badly enough, it is your God-given right to have it... I was a raw youth who mistook passion for insight and acted according to an obscure, gap-ridden logic. I thought climbing the Devils Thumb would fix all that was wrong with my life. In the end, of course, it changed almost nothing. But I came to appreciate that mountains make poor receptacles for dreams. And I lived to tell my tale.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “Unlike Muir and Thoreau, McCandless went into the wilderness not primarily to ponder nature or the world at large but, rather, to explore the inner country of his own soul.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “I don’t know that you ever get over this kind of loss. The fact that Chris is gone is a sharp hurt I feel every single day. It’s really hard. Some days are better than others, but it’s going to be hard every day for the rest of my life.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “I’m going to have to be real careful not to accept any gifts from them in the future because they will think they have bought my respect.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “A lot of us are like that – I’m like that, Ed Abbey was like that, and it sounds like this McCandless kid was like that: We like companionship, see, but we can’t stand to be around people for very long. So we go get ourselves lost, come back for a while, then get the hell out again.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “By design McCandless came into the country with insufficient provisions, and he lacked certain pieces of equipment deemed essential by many Alaskans: a large-caliber rifle, map and compass, an ax. This has been regarded as evidence not just of stupidity but of the even greater sin of arrogance.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “Oh, how one wishes sometimes to escape from the meaningless dullness of human eloquence, from all those sublime phrases, to take refuge in nature, apparently so inarticulate, or in the wordlessness of long, grinding labor, of sound sleep, of true music, or of a human understanding rendered speechless by emotion!”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “If this adventure proves fatal and you don’t ever hear from me again, I want you to know you’re a great man. I now walk into the wild. ALEX.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “War is always about betrayal, betrayal of the young by the old, of idealists by cynics and of troops by politicians.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “I came to understand that I had baffled and infuriated my father at least as much as he had baffled and infuriated me. I saw that I had been selfish and unbending and a giant pain in the ass. He’d built a bridge of privilege for me, a hand-paved trestle to the good life, and I repaid him by chopping it down and crapping on the wreckage.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “Above the comforts of Base Camp, the expedition in fact became an almost Calvinistic undertaking. The ratio of misery to pleasure was greater by an order of magnitude than any mountain I’d been on; I quickly came to understand that climbing Everest was primarily about enduring pain. And in subjecting ourselves to week after week of toil, tedium and suffering, it struck me that most of us were probably seeking above all else, something like a state of grace.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “The Slabs functions as the seasonal capital of a teeming itinerant society – a tolerant, rubber-tired culture comprising the retired, the exiled, the destitute, the perpetually unemployed. Its constituents are men and women and children of all ages, folks on the dodge from collection agencies, relationships gone sour, the law or the IRS, Ohio winters, the middle-class grind.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “And he never quit in the middle of something. If he started a job, he’d finish it. It was almost like a moral thing for him. He was what you’d call extremely ethical. He set pretty high standards for himself.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “He had spent the previous four years, as he saw it, preparing to fulfill an absurd and onerous duty: to graduate from college. At long last he was unencumbered, emancipated from the stifling world of his parents and peers, a world of abstraction and security and material excess, a world in which he felt grievously cut off from the raw throb of existence.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “Much of the food he put on the table came from hunting – despite the fact that he was uncomfortable killing animals. “My dad cried every time he shot a deer,” Billie says, ’but we had to eat, so he did it.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “Everett was strange,” Sleight concedes. “Kind of different. But him and McCandless, at least they tried to follow their dream. That’s what was great about them. They tried. Not many do.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “A trancelike state settles over your efforts; the climb becomes a clear-eyed dream. Hours slide by like minutes. The accumulated clutter of day-to-day existence – the lapses of consciousness, the unpaid bills, the bungled opportunities, the dust under the couch, the inescapable prison of your genes – all of it is temporarily forgotten, crowded from your thoughts by an overpowering clarity of purpose and by the seriousness of the task at hand.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “You’ll never feel the joy of movement if you’re struggling. You’ve got to get good enough and strong enough to reach the point where you can feel this quintessential lightness. – John Gill.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “There are no true answers, just shades of grey, coincidence, and circumstance.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “While tentbound high on Everest, Mallory and his companions would read aloud to one another from Hamlet and King Lear.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “Chaos is indeed the normal state of affairs on the battleground, and no army has figured out a way to plan effectively for, let alone alleviate, the so-called fog of war. When the military is confronted with the fratricidal carnage that predictably results, denial and dissembling are its time-honored responses of first resort.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “Solitude was a rare commodity on Everest, and I was grateful to be granted a bit of it on this day, in such a remarkable setting.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “At eighteen, in a dream, he saw himself plodding through jungles, chinning up the ledges of cliffs, wandering through the romantic waste places of the world. No man with any of the juices of boyhood in him has forgotten those dreams. The peculiar thing about Everett Ruess was that he went out and did the things he dreamed about, not simply for a two-weeks’ vacation in the civilized and trimmed wonderlands, but for months and years in the very midst of wonder...”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “There is a dark side to religious devotion that is too often ignored or denied. As a means of motivating people to be cruel or inhumane, as a means of inciting evil, to borrow the vocabulary of the devout, there may be no more potent force than religion.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “Achieving the summit of a mountain was tangible, immutable, concrete. The incumbent hazards lent the activity a seriousness of purpose that was sorely missing from the rest of my life. I thrilled in the fresh perspective that came from the tipping the ordinary plane of existence on end.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “His struggle to mold me in his image had been successful after all. The old walrus in fact managed to instill in me a great and burning ambition; it had simply found expression in an unintended pursuit. He never understood that the Devils Thumb was the same as medical school, only different.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “Devout Buddhists believe in sonam – an accounting of righteous deeds that, when large enough, enables one to escape the cycle of birth and rebirth and transcend forever this world of pain and suffering.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “When our heroes turn out to be sleazebags, self-deception is easier than facing the facts.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “Said his name was Alex. And he was big-time hungry. Hungry, hungry, hungry. But real happy. Said he’d been surviving on edible plants he identified from the book. Like he was real proud of it.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “He drifted past saguaros and alkali flats, camped beneath escarpments of naked Precambrian stone. In the distance spiky, chocolate-brown mountains floated on eerie pools of mirage.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “But then I’m not easily shocked. I’ve had several friends who drowned or got murdered or died in weird accidents. In Alaska you get used to strange stuff happening.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “It may, after all, be the bad habit of creative talents to invest themselves in pathological extremes that yield remarkable insights but no durable way of life for those who cannot translate their psychic wounds into significant art or thought.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “On the morning of the July 24, Pioneer Day, Dan got up, prayed, and felt prompted by the Lord to saw the barrel and stock off a 12-gauge, pump-action shotgun that he had been storing at his mother’s house.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “My life was falling apart. But somehow I stuck it out.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “I grew up with an ambition and determination without which I would have been a good deal happier.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “And because he happened to be the father of Debbie’s own stepmother, Mem, she unwittingly became a stepmother to her stepmother, and thus a stepgrandmother to herself.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “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.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “I have some good friends here, but no one really understands why I am here or what I do. I don’t know of anyone, though, who would have more than a partial understanding; I have gone too far alone.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “The urge to catalog the myriad blunders in order to “learn from the mistakes” is for the most part an exercise in denial and self-deception.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “I have to admit, the terrorists were following their prophet,” Dan says. “They were willing to do essentially what I did. I see the parallel. But the difference between those guys and me is, they were following a false prophet, and I’m not. “I believe I’m a good person,” Dan insists. “I’ve never done anything intentionally wrong. I never have.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “It is not uncommon for doctors to be chronic overachievers; Beck wasn’t the first physician to go overboard with a new hobby. But.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “In Missoula, Grizzly football exists in a realm apart, where there is a pervasive sense of entitlement. University of Montana fans, coaches, players, and their lawyers expect, and often receive, special dispensation.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “But it also demonstrates how difficult it is to correct a false belief after people have made an emotional investment in that belief being true. When our heroes turn out to be sleazebags, self-deception is easier than facing the facts.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “In any human endeavor, some fraction of its practitioners will be motivated to pursue that activity with such concentrated focus and unalloyed passion that it will consume them utterly. One has to look no further than individuals who feel compelled to devote their lives to becoming concert pianists, say, or climbing Mount Everest. For some, the province of the extreme holds an allure that’s irresistible. And a certain percentage of such fanatics will inevitably fixate on matters of the spirit.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “Using his gift for fundamentalist rhetoric and adroitly manipulating the religious indoctrination Elizabeth had received since she was old enough to talk, Mitchell cowed the girl into becoming an utterly submissive polygamous concubine – buttressing his powers of theological persuasion with threats to kill her and her family.”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “According to Montana law, Keteyian countered, a person who is physically incapacitated is incapable of providing consent. Given her extremely high blood alcohol level, he wondered, wasn’t Belnap clearly incapacitated?”
Jon Krakauer Quote: “Mortenson was merely selling what the public was eager to buy.”
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