Month: October 2013

But aren’t all great quests folly?

“But aren’t all great quests folly? El Dorado and the Fountain of Youth and the search for intelligent life in the cosmos—we know what’s out there. It’s what isn’t that truly compels us. Technology may have shrunk the epic journey to a couple short car rides and regional jet lags—four states and twelve hundred miles traversed in an afternoon—but true quests aren’t measured in time or distance anyway, so much as in hope. There are only two good outcomes for a quest like this, the hope of the serendipitous savant—sail for Asia and stumble on America—and the hope of scarecrows and tin men: that you find out you had the thing you sought all along.”

—Jess Walter, Beautiful Ruins

Just the contrary to human beings

“The truth is that he wanted to draw a little comfort from gazing at the stars. There were still one or two up there, at the zenith. As always, seeing them revived him; they were distant, they were omnipotent, and at the same time they were docile to his calculations; just the contrary to human beings, always too near, so weak and yet so quarrelsome.”

—Giuseppe di Lampedusa, The Leopard