The Big Read Blog (Archive)

Exploration and Discovery

1492- Christopher Columbus Statue, photo by deste, via stock.xchng

Monday is Columbus Day. While we still celebrate the holiday, we know that the Vikings, the Native Americans---heck, maybe even the Chinese---were here long before Columbus sailed the ocean blue. In fact, Big Read author Louise Erdrich, a Native American who often writes on Native-American themes, once said, ?Columbus only discovered that he was in some new place. He didn't discover America.? And although our accepted view of history frequently changes with knowledge (did you know that China may have even been to Africa centuries before the Europeans?), one thing remains true---humanity?s undeniable compulsion for exploration and discovery. So, in our Big Read blog post today, we give you some quotes on the subject:

?It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end.?
---Ursula LeGuin

"In wisdom gathered over time I have found that every experience is a form of exploration."
---Ansel Adams

"What is there that confers the noblest delight? What is that which swells a man's breast with pride above that which any other experience can bring to him? Discovery! To know that you are walking where none others have walked; that you are beholding what human eye has not seen before; that you are breathing a virgin atmosphere. To give birth to an idea, to discover a great thought---an intellectual nugget, right under the dust of a field that many a brain-plough had gone over before. To find a new planet, to invent a new hinge, to find a way to make the lightning carry your messages. To be the first---that is the idea."
---Mark Twain

"Great discoveries and improvements invariably involve the co-operation of many minds. I may be given credit for having blazed the trail but when I look at the subsequent developments I feel the credit is due to others rather than to myself."
---Alexander Graham Bell

"We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started... and know the place for the first time."
---Eliot, T. S.

?One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his greatest surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn't.?
---Henry Ford

"Literature is where I go to explore the highest and lowest places in human society and in the human spirit, where I hope to find not absolute truth but the truth of the tale, of the imagination and of the heart."
---Salman Rushdie

"The future author is one who discovers that language, the exploration and manipulation of the resources of language, will serve him in winning through to his way."
---Thornton Wilder

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