Below are some links to articles/pieces/ideas that have something to say about ‘going wild’.
The more you read, the more connections you will make as you work through ‘Into the Wild’. The text that I’ve copied way down below is about the desert and what it can symbolise – as soon as I read it, I thought of Chris in the desert, finding the oh-so-hot-springs, and the friend he made, Ron Franz. As I kept following this thread, I found this quote: Robert Louis Stevenson wrote, ‘We are all travelers in what John Bunyan calls the wilderness of this world. And the best that we find in our travels is an honest friend – they keep us worthy of ourselves.’” Ron Franz was certainly an honest friend.
This then led me to Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan (which is mentioned by McCandless), and then to Mark Twains’ An Innocent Abroad, and then to CS Lewis, who wrote A Pilgrim’s Regress, in which he wrote: “You all know,” said the Guide, “that security is mortals’ greatest enemy.” In an instant, I thought of McCandless’ letter to Ron (p58) in which he wrote: “..but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future.”
This doesn’t necessarily make a context piece, but it starts the cogs turning. It’s allows me to visualise/imagine a landscape (a desert?) in which someone seeks to let go of the security that binds and blinds us. Where could this take me?
What about this for a big idea: People often seek new experiences in wild landscapes in order to escape the grip of the modern world.
THIS IS THE THINKING I WANT YOU TO START ATTEMPTING…follow the breadcrumbs of a thought. Let them mull in your mind. Nurture them into ideas. Shape them into a piece of writing.
As you read through these pieces below, start to make the active connections between the words of these texts and the words of John Krakauer.
- The Glorious Indifference of Wilderness
- On the Bosom of this Grave and Wasted Land I Will Lay My Head
- Take me to the River
- Journey through the Wilderness
- Men’s Wilderness Journey
- Through the Wildnerness
- The River in a landscape of creative practice
- Finding Magic Alaska
“…this Valley is a solitary place. The Prophet Jeremiah thus describes it: A wilderness, a land of deserts and pits, a land of drought, and of the shadow of death, a land that no man (but a Christian) passeth through, and where no man dwelt.”” – John Bunyan – The Pilgram’s Progress
From: Imagery and Sybolism in Counselling – William Stewart.