Doug Bruns

Posts Tagged ‘Gérard d’Aboville’

“Only an animal does useful things.”

In Adventure, Books, The Examined Life, Writers on June 16, 2012 at 6:00 am

“Only an animal does useful things. An animal gets food, finds a place to sleep, tries to keep comfortable. But I wanted to do something that was not useful–not like an animal at all. Something only a human being would do.”

It’s Saturday–again–and I want to leave you with a quote. (I see a pattern forming.) What you read above are the words of adventurer Gérard d’Aboville. His book, Alone, was being published in the U.S. and Paul Theroux was writing the introduction. The book is the account of d’Aboville’s single-handed 1991 journey rowing across the Pacific. Theroux was pressing d’Aboville: Why? Why take such a dangerous voyage? I very much like the nuanced answer, it’s “something only a human being would do.”

It’s the weekend. Go do something only a human being would do.