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Young Men and Fire Young Men and Fire by Norman Maclean
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Young Men and Fire Quotes Showing 1-14 of 14
“As I get considerably beyond the biblical allotment of three score years and ten, I feel with increasing intensity that I can express my gratitude for still being around on the oxygen-side of the earth's crust only by not standing pat on what I have hitherto known and loved. While oxygen lasts, there are still new things to love, especially if compassion is a form of love.”
Norman Maclean, Young Men and Fire
“Unless we are willing to escape into sentimentality or fantasy, often the best we can do with catastrophes, even our own, is to find out exactly what happened and restore some of the missing parts.”
Norman Maclean, Young Men and Fire
tags: life
“It is very important to a lot of people to make unmistakably clear to themselves and to the universe that they love the universe but are not intimidated by it and will not be shaken by it, no matter what it has in store. Moreover, they demand something from themselves early in life that can be taken ever after as a demonstration of this abiding feeling.”
Norman Maclean, Young Men and Fire
“I, an old man, have written this fire report. Among other things, it was important to me, as an exercise for old age, to enlarge my knowledge and spirit so I could accompany young men whose lives I might have lived on their way to death. I have climbed where they climbed, and in my time I have fought fire and inquired into its nature. In addition, I have lived to get a better understanding of myself and those close to me, many of them now dead. Perhaps it is not odd, at the end of this tragedy, where nothing much was left of the elite who came from the sky, but courage struggling for oxygen, that I have often found myself thinking of my wife on her brave and lonely way to death.”
Norman Maclean, Young Men and Fire
“Probably most catastrophes end this way without an ending, the dead not even knowing how they died...,those who loved them forever questioning "this unnecessary death," and the rest of us tiring of this inconsolable catastrophe and turning to the next one.”
Norman Maclean, Young Men and Fire
“They were still so young they hadn't learned to count the odds and to sense they might owe the universe a tragedy.”
Norman Maclean, Young Men and Fire
“A mystery of the universe is how it has managed to survive with so much volunteer help.”
Norman Maclean, Young Men and Fire
“But first of all he is a woodsman, and you aren't a woodsman unless you have such a feeling for topography that you can look at the earth and see what it would look like without any woods or covering on it. It's something like the gift all men wish for when they or young-- or old-- of being able to look through a woman's clothes and see her body, possibly even a little of her character.”
Norman Maclean, Young Men and Fire
“time was just a hangover from the past with no present meaning”
Norman Maclean, Young Men and Fire
“In this story of the outside world and the inside world with a fire between, the outside world of little screwups recedes now for a few hours to be taken over by the inside world of blowups, this time by a colossal blowup but shaped by little screwups that fitted together tighter and tighter until all became one and the same thing--the fateful blowup.”
Norman Maclean, Young Men and Fire
tags: fire
“In 1949 the Smokejumpers were still so young that they referred affectionately to all fires they jumped on as “ten o’clock fires,” as if they already had them under control before they jumped. They were still so young they hadn’t learned to count the odds and to sense they might owe the universe a tragedy.”
Norman Maclean, Young Men and Fire
“Far back in the impulses to find this story is a storyteller's belief that at times life takes on the shape of art and that the remembered remnants of these moments are largely what we come to mean by life. The short semihumours comedies we live, our long certain tragedies, and our springtime lyrics and limericks make up most of what we are. they become almost all of what we remember of ourselves.”
Norman Maclean, Young Men and Fire
“Although divine bewilderment addresses its grief to the universe, it only cries out to it. It has to find its answer, if at all, in its own final act. It is not to be found among the answers God gave to Job in a whirlwind.”
Norman Maclean, Young Men and Fire
“He himself has thinned out to the vanishing point of being only decisions once made that he can't do anything about ever after.”
Norman Maclean, Young Men and Fire