The Immortal Horizon Pick of the day

On running the 100-mile Barkley Marathons in northern Tennessee. “What makes it so bad? No trail, for one. A cumulative elevation gain that’s nearly twice the height of Everest. Native flora called saw briars that can turn a man’s legs to raw meat in meters. The hills have names like Rat Jaw, Little Hell, Big Hell, Coffin Springs, Zip Line, and an uphill stretch, new this year, known simply as the Bad Thing” (6,880 words)

An Argument With A Fly Rod

Review of The Habit of Rivers, a “lush collection of essays” about trout fishing by Ted Leeson, “lifelong practitioner of fly fishing and a masterful writer of lyric nonfiction”. “To construct an ‘argument’ by fly fishing (by choosing what fly to use, where to cast it, how to control its drift, and so on) is to attempt to answer a fundamental question: as Leeson asks, ‘Have I accurately inferred and observed the principles by which the river works?’” (1,170 words)

Interview: Anne Enright

Mostly about writing. “It’s like getting a herd of sheep across a field. If you try to control them too much, they resist. It’s the same with a book. If you try to control it too much, the book is dead. You have to let it fall apart quite early on and let it start doing its own thing. And that takes nerve, not to panic that the book you were going to write is not the book you will have at the end of the day” (5,080 words)

Interview With Todd May, Philosopher

On the virtues of death as against those of eternal life. “Life is short, and if death were to be a good thing, it would be a better thing much further down the road than it is for human lives now.” But immortality is another matter: Imagine the boredom. So, if, like Indiana Jones, you can save someone from death only by giving them an elixir of eternal life, it’s a harder choice the more you think about it. Neither option is a good option (5,441 words)

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