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A Brief Note on the Philosophy of Story

April 12, 2015

If at first you don’t succeed―

Detail of cover art for 'The Last Unicorn: A Search for One of the Earth's Rarest Creatures' by William deBuys.The quest is perhaps the oldest story in human literature, whether it’s the Odyssey or Gilgamesh or the Jews leaving Egypt and looking for the Promised Land. We have quest stories deep in our cultural bones. But in many cases the quest doesn’t end with finding the thing that was initially sought. That was true of our quest in Nakai Nam Theun. But we found something else. We had an encounter with deep beauty. And this encounter changed my life. I learned something I hadn’t known before about the balancing of fatalism with optimism in life, and making those two opposites cohabit peacefully in my own heart.

Wiliam deBuys

―it probably wasn’t a total loss.

No, really, what am I going to say to all that? Every word I type only diminishes the … er … right.

―bd

____________________

Worrall, Simon. “How a Quest to Find a ‘Unicorn’ Changed One Man’s Life”. NationalGeographic.com. 5 April 2015.

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