rebecca solnit: a field guide to getting lost

from “the blue of distance” (the last)

“When I think of the artist Yves Klein, I think of those absolutists who preceded him by a generation or two, those who vanished, think of the boxer and Dadaist poet Arthur Cravan who in 1918 was supposed to leave Mexico to meet his new wife in Argentina but was never seen again; of Everett Ruess, the bohemian who might have become an artist or writer had he not disappeared into the canyons of Utah at the age of twenty in 1934, leaving behind a final signature carved into the rock: ‘Nemo’ or ‘no one’; of the aviator Amelia Earhart who disappeared over the Pacific in 1937; of the pilot Antoine de Saint Exupery who left behind several lapidary books before his plane too disappeared, in 1944, in the Mediterranean.  They were all saddled with a desire to appear in the world and a desire to go as far as possible that was a will to disappear from it.  In the ambition was a desire to make over the world as it should be; but in the disappearances was the desire to live as though it had been made over, to refashion oneself into a hero who disappeared not only into the sky, the sea, the wilderness, but into a conception of self, into legend, into the heights of possibility.”

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