Posted Monday, March 2nd, 2009 at 11:33 pm under books, me.

The entrepreneurial spirit in literature

Once in a while I run across a piece of writing that has little or nothing to do with being an entrepreneur, but which reads as though it did. I posted an example in 2007: Orwell writing about and quoting T.S.Eliot: “Each venture is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate with shabby equipment always deteriorating“.

Below is one I encountered a few days ago. Can you place it? You can find the answer on Google in a flash.


The glamour of youth enveloped his parti-coloured rags, his destitution, his loneliness, the essential desolation of his futile wanderings. For months — for years — his life hadn’t been worth a day’s purchase; and there he was gallantly, thoughtlessly alive, to all appearances indestructible solely by the virtue of his few years and of his unreflecting audacity. I was seduced into something like admiration — like envy. Glamour urged him on, glamour kept him unscathed. He surely wanted nothing from the wilderness but space to breathe in and to push on through. His need was to exist, and to move onwards at the greatest possible risk, and with a maximum of privation. If the absolutely pure, uncalculating, unpractical spirit of adventure had ever ruled a human being, it ruled this be-patched youth. I almost envied him the possession of this modest and clear flame. It seemed to have consumed all thought of self so completely, that even while he was talking to you, you forgot that it was he— the man before your eyes— who had gone through these things.

  • Pingback: Terry Jones » Blog Archive » Faulkner on splendid failure

  • http://fluidinfo.com/terry Terry Jones

    Ah, I just read your comment more closely :-) Yes, you got it.

  • http://blogs.fluidinfo.com/terry terrycojones

    Ah, I just read your comment more closely :-) Yes, you got it.

  • http://fluidinfo.com/terry Terry Jones

    HI James

    Are you familiar with the acronym STFW? You might be if you knew how to STFW….

    It’s from Heart of Darkness. I’d have thought the macho-ness of Conrad would be right up your alley?

    Nice to see you on Twitter BTW.

    T

  • http://blogs.fluidinfo.com/terry terrycojones

    HI James

    Are you familiar with the acronym STFW? You might be if you knew how to STFW….

    It’s from Heart of Darkness. I’d have thought the macho-ness of Conrad would be right up your alley?

    Nice to see you on Twitter BTW.

    T

  • James Gallaway

    It reminds me of Marlowe’s impression of Kurtz’s acolyte in Heart of Darkness – Dennis Hopper plays the same character in Apocolypse Now.

    But why don’t you tell us where it is actually from, Terry?

    James

  • James Gallaway

    It reminds me of Marlowe’s impression of Kurtz’s acolyte in Heart of Darkness – Dennis Hopper plays the same character in Apocolypse Now.

    But why don’t you tell us where it is actually from, Terry?

    James

  • http://cycle-gap.blogspot.com Rams

    A similar quote that I read about recently:

    “The step, the heroic first step of the journey, is out of, or over the edge of your boundaries, and it must often be taken before you know that you will be supported. The hero’s journey has been compared to a birth: it starts with being warm and snug in a safe place; then comes a signal, growing more insistent, that it’s time to leave. To stay behind your time is to putrefy. Without the blood and the tearing pain, there is no new life.”

    – Diane K Obson, in her introduction to ‘A Joseph Campbell Companion’

  • http://cycle-gap.blogspot.com/ Rams

    A similar quote that I read about recently:

    “The step, the heroic first step of the journey, is out of, or over the edge of your boundaries, and it must often be taken before you know that you will be supported. The hero’s journey has been compared to a birth: it starts with being warm and snug in a safe place; then comes a signal, growing more insistent, that it’s time to leave. To stay behind your time is to putrefy. Without the blood and the tearing pain, there is no new life.”

    – Diane K Obson, in her introduction to ‘A Joseph Campbell Companion’

  • http://www.dousek.com Filip

    Hi Terry, my favourite quote:
    „I want to work with the top people, because only they have the courage and confidence and risk-seeking profile that you need.“ James Joyce

  • http://www.dousek.com/ Filip

    Hi Terry, my favourite quote:
    „I want to work with the top people, because only they have the courage and confidence and risk-seeking profile that you need.“ James Joyce

  • http://jon.es terry

    Hi Thomas

    Thanks. I’d not heard of Sebald. I’ll see if I can get hold of a copy.

    Terry

  • http://jon.es/ terry

    Hi Thomas

    Thanks. I’d not heard of Sebald. I’ll see if I can get hold of a copy.

    Terry

  • http://wordaligned.org Thomas Guest

    Interesting, especially in the context of your blog. I’d like to recommend another book which provides a more oblique context. Try googling “silkworms, hamburger, saturn”.

  • http://wordaligned.org/ Thomas Guest

    Interesting, especially in the context of your blog. I’d like to recommend another book which provides a more oblique context. Try googling “silkworms, hamburger, saturn”.

  • Mayson Lancaster

    So – which single word from the quote will lead Google to the source?

  • Mayson

    So – which single word from the quote will lead Google to the source?

  • otoburb

    Time to re-read another classic. I expect to take much more from this reading than my much younger self.

  • otoburb

    Time to re-read another classic. I expect to take much more from this reading than my much younger self.