Best ‘A River Runs Through It’ Quotes 2021

‘The River Runs through It’ offers a interesting viewpoint that the Reformed Christian beliefs of the Maclean family (who the novel is centered around) present no competition with nature. In the book, Maclean portrays logical solidarity between his family and the climate in which they live.

This idea is perfectly demonstrated in the title of the book, ‘A River Runs Through It’. This symbolises the interaction between the Maclean family unit (represented in the title by ‘It’) and nature (represented by ‘A River’).

The book is an insightful read, that includes an excerpt of a poem from ‘Ode: Intimations Of Immortality From Recollections Of Early Childhood’ by William Wordsworth in the novel. This, combined with the insightful last line of ‘A River Runs Through It’, helps to maintain the impact of this important book. The last line of the novel is, “Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and ran over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.” This last line from ‘A River Runs Through It’ has become quite famous and is now synonymous with the novel.

Quotes About Friendship From ‘A River Runs Through It’

'A River Runs Through It' is a famous novel based on the Maclean family's story

Norman Maclean speaks many different quotes in the book ‘A River Runs Through It’. If you are searching for ‘A River Runs Through It’ quotes, you should check out these ‘A River Runs Through It’ friendship quotes that we have found just for you. These quotes, as well as touching on the idea of friendship, also discuss love, family and strength. Which of these quotes will inspire you today?

1. “That’s how you know when you have thought too much – when you become a dialogue between ‘You’ll probably lose’ and ‘You’re sure to lose’.”

– Norman Maclean.

2. “We can love completely what we cannot completely understand.”

– Norman Maclean.

3. “Slowly we became silent, and silence itself if an enemy to friendship.”

– Norman Maclean.

4. “So it is that we can seldom help anybody. Either we don’t know what part to give or maybe we don’t like to give any part of ourselves. Then, more often than not, the part that is needed is not wanted. And even more often, we do not have the part that is needed.”

– Norman Maclean.

5. “It is those we live with and love and should know who elude us.”

– Norman Maclean.

6. “You can love completely without complete understanding.”

– Norman Maclean.

7. “Nearly all those I loved and did not understand … are dead, but I still reach out to them.”

– Norman Maclean.

8. “Each one of us here today will at one time in our lives look upon a loved one who is in need and ask the same question: We are willing to help, Lord, but what, if anything, is needed?”

– Norman Maclean.

9. “It is very important to a lot of people to make unmistakably clear to themselves and to the universe that they love the universe but are not intimidated by it and will not be shaken by it, no matter what it has in store. Moreover, they demand something from themselves early in life that can be taken ever after as a demonstration of this abiding feeling.”

– Norman Maclean.

10. “The nearest anyone can come to finding himself at any given age is to find a story that somehow tells him about himself.”

– Norman Maclean.

Quotes About Fishing From ‘A River Runs Through It’

Fishing is a central theme in 'A River Runs Through It'.

Fishing is one of the central themes in the novel. In setting up a foundation, Norman Maclean shows the importance of fly fishing to him personally, and to his family. In the novel, fishing also provided an opportunity for religious teaching among the male members of the family, who all loved fishing. By describing their fishing experiences throughout the year of 1937 in the novel, Norman Maclean is able to describe and better understand the tragedy of his brother’s death, to honor him, and to show gratitude for his affection and insight. This list of fly fishing quotes from ‘A River Runs Through It’ includes the best quotes about the river from all the ‘A River Runs Through It’ book quotes. If you are looking for some great ‘A River Runs Through It’ fishing quotes, this is the place to be. Will you find your favorite ‘A River Runs Through It’ quote among these fly fishing quotes from ‘A River Runs Through It’?

11. “Poets talk about ‘spots of time’, but it is really fishermen who experience eternity compressed into a moment. No one can tell what a spot of time is until suddenly the whole world is a fish and the fish is gone.”

– Norman Maclean.

12. “Something within fishermen tries to make fishing into a world perfect and apart – I don’t know what it is or where, because sometimes it is in my arms and sometimes in my throat and sometimes nowhere in particular except somewhere deep.”

– Norman Maclean.

13. “Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.”

– Norman Maclean.

14. “Many of us would probably be better fishermen if we did not spend so much time watching and waiting for the world to become perfect.”

– Norman Maclean.

15. “One great thing about fly fishing is that after a while nothing exists of the world but thoughts about fly fishing.”

– Norman Maclean.

16. “The fisherman even has a phrase to describe what he does when he studies the patterns of a river. He says he is ‘reading the water’, and perhaps to tell his stories he has to do much the same thing.”

Norman Maclean.

17. “Of course, now I am too old to be much of a fisherman, and now of course I usually fish the big waters alone, although some friends think I shouldn’t. Like many fly fishermen in western Montana where the summer days are the almost Arctic in length, I often do not start fishing until the cool of the evening. Then in the Arctic half-light of the canyon, all existence fades to a being with my soul and memories and the sounds of the Big Blackfoot River and a four-count rhythm and the hope that a fish will rise.”

– Norman Maclean.

18. “When [bait fishermen] come back home they don’t even kiss their mothers on the front porch before they’re in the back garden with a red Hills Bros. coffee can digging for angleworms.”

– Norman Maclean.

19. “It is not fly fishing if you are not looking for answers to questions.”

– Norman Maclean.

20. “I asked, ‘Do you think you should help him?’ ‘Yes’, he said, ‘I thought we were going to’. ‘How?’ I asked. ‘By taking him fishing with us.’ ‘I’ve just told you,’ I said, ‘he doesn’t like to fish.’ ‘Maybe so’, my brother replied. ‘But maybe what he likes is somebody trying to help him’.”

-Norman Maclean.

River Runs Through It Quotes

01
On the Big Blackfoot River above the mouth of Belmont Creek the banks are fringed by large Ponderosa pines. In the slanting sun of late afternoon the shadows of great branches reached from across the river, and the trees took the river in their arms. The shadows continued up the bank, until they included us.
02
So it is that we can seldom help anybody. Either we don’t know what part to give or maybe we don’t like to give any part of ourselves. Then, more often than not, the part that is needed is not wanted. And even more often, we do not have the part that is needed.
03
If you think what I am about to tell you next is a contradiction to this, then you will have to realize that in Montana drinking beer does not count as drinking.
04
In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing.
05
At sunrise, everything is luminous but not clear.
06
Eventually the watcher joined the river, and there was only one of us. I believe it was the river.
07
Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.
08
That’s how you know when you have thought too much– when you become a dialogue between “You’ll probably lose” and “You’re sure to lose.”
09
I am haunted by waters.
10
The hardest thing usually to leave behind, as was the case now, can loosely be called the conscience.
11
As for my father, I never knew whether he believed God was a mathematician but he certainly believed God could count and that only by picking up God’s rhythms were we able to regain power and beauty. Unlike many Presbyterians, he often used the word “beautiful.”
12
Always it was to be called a rod. If someone called it a pole, my father looked at him as a sergeant in the United States Marines would look at a recruit who had just called a rifle a gun.
13
Until a man is redeemed he will always take a fly rod too far back, just as natural man always overswings with an ax or golf club and loses all his power somewhere in the air.
14
When [bait fishermen] come back home they don’t even kiss their mothers on the front porch before they’re in the back garden with a red Hills Bros. coffee can digging for angleworms.
15
Not far downstream was a dry channel where the river had run once, and part of the way to come to know a thing is through its death. But years ago I had known the river when it flowed through this now dry channel, so I could enliven its stony remains with the waters of memory.
16
The fisherman even has a phrase to describe what he does when he studies the patterns of a river. He says he is ‘reading the water,’ and perhaps to tell his stories he has to do much the same thing.
17
You can love completely without complete understanding.

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