Animals used to provide a lowlife way to kill and get away with it, as they do still, but, more intriguingly, for some people they are an aperture through which wounds drain. The scapegoat of olden times, driven off for the bystanders sins, has become a tender thing, a running injury. There, running away is me: hurt it and you are hurting me.— Edward Hoagland
The most spectacular Edward Hoagland quotes you will be delighted to read
In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog.
True solitude is a din of birdsong, seething leaves, whirling colors, or a clamor of tracks in the snow.
There aren't many irritations to match the condescension which a woman metes out to a man who she believes has loved her vainly for the past umpteen years.
The question of whether it's God's green earth is not at center stage, except in the sense that if so, one is reminded with some regularity that He may be dying.
Nobody expects to trust his body overmuch after the age of fifty.
There often seems to be a playfulness to wise people, as if either their equanimity has as its source this playfulness or the playfulness flows from the equanimity; and they can persuade other people who are in a state of agitation to calm down and manage a smile.
Animals are stylized characters in a kind of old saga -- stylized because even the most acute of them have little leeway as they play out their parts.
Silence is exhilarating at first - as noise is - but there is a sweetness to silence outlasting exhilaration, akin to the sweetness of listening and the velvet of sleep.
Men greet each other with a sock on the arm, women with a hug, and the hug wears better in the long run.
Many people have believed that they were Chosen, but none more baldly than the Texans.
If two people are in love they can sleep on the blade of a knife.
Land of opportunity, land for the huddled masses where would the opportunity have been without the genocide of those Old Guard, bristling Indian tribes?
There is a time of life somewhere between the sullen fugues of adolescence and the retrenchments of middle age when human nature becomes so absolutely absorbing one wants to be in the city constantly, even at the height of summer.
Sophistication" is another word for that inventive mix of tolerance, resilience, and resourcefulness city people develop.
Country people do not behave as if they think life is short;
they live on the principle that it is long, and savor variations of the kind best appreciated if most days are the same.
Country people tend to consider that they have a corner on righteousness and to distrust most manifestations of cleverness, while people in the city are leery of righteousness but ascribe to themselves all manner of cleverness.
City people try to buy time as a rule, when they can, whereas country people are prepared to kill time, although both try to cherish in their mind's eye the notion of a better life ahead.
Summer is when we believe, all of a sudden, that if we just walked out the back door and kept on going long enough and far enough we would reach the Rocky Mountains.
The novelist screws up his courage in order to invest another two or three years in another attempt to float a boat of original design upon an invented ocean.
No birdcall is the musical equal of a clarinet blown with panache.
Black bears, though, are not fearsome.
I encountered one on the road to my house in Vermont, alone at night. I picked up two stones just in case, but I wasn't afraid of him. I felt a hunter's exhilaration and a brotherly feeling.
Many divorces are not really the result of irreparable injury but involve, instead, a desire on the part of the man or woman to shatter the setup, start out from scratch alone, and make life work for them all over again. They want the risk of disaster, want to touch bottom, see where bottom is, and, coming up, to breathe the air with relief and relish again.
Animals are stylized characters in a kind of old saga - stylized because even the most acute of them have little leeway as they play out their parts.
Our loneliness makes us avid column readers these days.
We New Yorkers see more death and violence than most soldiers do, grow a thick chitin on our backs, grimace like a rat and learn to do a disappearing act. Long ago we outgrew the need to be blowhards about our masculinity; we leave that to the Alaskans and Texans, who have more time for it.
Poetry is engendered in solitude, so what better meter for it than the clip of a buckskin horse?
It's incongruous that the older we get, the more likely we are to turn in the direction of religion. Less vivid and intense ourselves, closer to the grave, we begin to conceive of ourselves as immortal.
Suicidal thinking, if serious, can be a kind of death scare, comparable to suffering a heart attack or undergoing a cancer operation. One survives such a phase both warier and chastened. When-ten years ago-I emerged from a bad dip into suicidal speculation, I felt utterly exhausted and yet quite fearless of ordinary dangers, vastly afraid of myself but much less scared of extraneous eventualities.
To relive the relationship between owner and slave we can consider how we treat our cars and dogs -- a dog exercising a somewhat similar leverage on our mercies and an automobile being comparable in value to a slave in those days.
It would be hard to define chaos better than as a world where children decide they don't want to live.
Man is different from animals in that he speculates, a high-risk activity.
Indeed, if "biology is chemistry with history," as somebody has said, then nature writing is biology with love.
To live is to see, and traveling sometimes speeds up the process.
Henry David Thoreau, who never earned much of a living or sustained a relationship with any woman that wasn't brotherly -- who lived mostly under his parents' roof . . . who advocated one day's work and six days "off" as the weekly round and was considered a bit of a fool in his hometown . . . is probably the American writer who tells us best how to live comfortably with our most constant companion, ourselves.
A writer's work is to witness things.
Men often compete with one another until the day they die;
comradeship consists of rubbing shoulders jocularly with a competitor.
If a person sings quietly to himself on the street people smile with approval;
but if he talks it's not alright; they think he's crazy. The singer is presumed to be happy and the talker unhappy.
If human nature eventually is going to take the place of nature everywhere, those of us who have been naturalists will have to transpose the faith in nature which is inherent in the profession to a faith in man-if necessary, man alone in the world.
There are two kinds of writers: hustlers and sanctimonious hustlers.
A mountain with a wolf on it stands a little taller.
Like a kick in the butt, the force of events wakes slumberous talents.
If a walker is indeed an individualist there is nowhere he can't go at dawn and not many places he can't go at noon. But just as it demeans life to live alongside a great river you can no longer swim in or drink from, to be crowded into safer areas and hours takes much of the gloss off walking -- one sport you shouldn't have to reserve a time and a court for.
There were periods during my childhood when I stammered so badly I couldn't talk at all.
Once I climbed into a mountain lion's cage and she bounded at me and put her paw on my face, but she kept her claws withdrawn.