Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Into the Wild

Chris / Alex McCandless wrote well.

"The very basic core of a man's living spirit is hit passion for adventure.
The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun."

"You are wrong if you think Joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. God has placed it all around us. It is in everything and anything we might experience."

This is from the book "Into the Wild" and the above quotes are Alex's own.
The last quote he negates before death when he notes:

"And so it turned out that only a life similar to life of those around us, merging with it without a ripple, is genuine life, and that an unshared happiness is not happiness... And this was most vexing of all. HAPPINESS ONLY REAL WHEN SHARED."

Did he have to go through his ordeal to realise this? Could he have been one of the very few who actually realised this? I ask because most of us don't know the other possibility, of living without society and love.

The book is quite excellent. It's not as glorious as the movie but is sobering. Jon Krakauer is the author and he expressed his compassion for the kid in the introduction/ foreword. There are two chapters which I really liked. One in which Jon talks of other weirdos/ loners/ pursuers and the other when he describes his youth and his journey to Alaska to conquer Devil's Thumb. Fantastic stuff.
I enjoyed the part where when he came back to the town and recited his tale to the town folk, they didn't seem to care :)
I relished the part where he compared his ... well... this is the statement (He was 23 years old then):
"At that stage of my youth, death remained as abstract a concept as non-Euclidean geometry or marriage."

This book and books like this make one realise how shallow a city-dweller's journey can be. Yes.

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