Thursday, May 18, 2023

Something Beautiful

A River Runs through It
A River Runs through It 

"One of life's quiet excitements is to stand somewhat apart from yourself and watch yourself softly becoming the author of something beautiful, even if it is only a flowating ash."  -  Norman Maclean

I chose to read the book when the movie version of A River Runs Through It was released a number of years ago. The stunning scenery, excellent acting, and significant passages of the story that were taken straight from the book produced one of the best films in recent memory and solidified the book's status as one of the greatest American stories. Everyone agreed that it was the best fishing narrative ever written. I diligently looked for it and read it. I learnt to appreciate it when I recently went back to it with more knowledge and just enjoyed the language and the poignant family story it told.

Here is the famous opening:
" In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing. We lived at the junction of great trout rivers in western Montana, and our father was a Presbyterian minister and a fly fisherman who tied his own flies and taught others. He told us about Christ's disciples being fishermen, and we were left to assume, as my brother and I did, that all first-class fishermen on the Sea of Galilee were fly fishermen and that John, the favorite, was a dry-fly fisherman."

In his timeless tale of dads, sons, and brothers and their frequently fruitless attempts to understand one another, MacLean shows how sport may serve as a link—and even the only link—between them. In this very nearly perfect book, MacLean's crystalline style and the moving plot will leave you haunted. It certainly did that for me and I heartily recommend this book to anyone who loves great literature.

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