into the wild, jon krakauer

It is true that I miss intelligent companionship, but there are so few with 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 … I have known too much of the depths of life already, and I would prefer anything to an anticlimax. [excerpted from Everett Ruess’s last letter to his brother Waldo]

ruess

cred: d compton

What Everett Ruess was after was beauty, and he conceived beauty in pretty romantic terms. We might be inclined to laugh at the extravagance of his beauty-worship if there were not something almost magnificent in his single-minded dedication to it. Esthetics as a parlor affectation is ludicrous and sometimes a little obscene; as a way of life it sometimes attains dignity. If we laugh at Everett Ruess we shall have to laugh at John Muir, because there was little difference between them but age. [Wallace Stegner, Mormon Country]

i’ve only just begun krakauer’s story of christopher johnson mccandless [aka alexander supertramp]. reading it with a tutoring client. utterly fascinated by this modern transcendentalist, and by the author’s moving command of language. affecting on so many levels. hungry for more of krakauer’s words.

these excerpts [though not attributed to the author] resonate.

also resonating: supertramp.

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