SMILEYBERG, KANSAS — Instagrammer Yasemin Atherton’s latest photo is garnering accolades from around the globe for its use of a hitherto-unpublished John Muir quote. The snowy scene delved deep into the wilderness of the venerated naturalist’s landmark publication The Yosemite to locate the undocumented quotation and bring it to the world’s attention:
This flight in what might be called a milky way of snow-stars was the most spiritual and exhilarating of all the modes of motion I have ever experienced. Elijah’s flight in a chariot of fire could hardly have been more gloriously exciting.
Ms. Atherton knew it was special from the moment she spotted it. “As soon as this fragment came into view, I felt a thrill through my entire body. To think that I was the first one to lay eyes upon it! I knew I had to pair it with a really exceptional photograph to underscore how lovely this phrase is, and how it’s made even more beautiful through its uniqueness and scarcity.”
Muir scholars rushed to applaud Ms. Atherton’s find. “We firmly believed all fresh Muir quotes were exhausted several years ago, with the last confirmed sighting being in late July of 2012. Her tenacity and ability to discover this selection is exceptional,” acknowledged Dr. Kingsley Hamer, director of the prestigious Social Media Literary Quotation Department of the University of Southeast Blainesville.
Dr. Hamer hoped the excitement generated by the sighting would spark a new interest in captioning photographs with pithy sayings of literary greats, and predicted a solid future for such excerpts. While Muir is certainly the premier source for these passages, he believes the next great discovery could revolve around Edward Abbey.
“Old Ed was an irascible crank, and his quotes are perfect not only for evaluating one’s relation to the natural environment but also for thoroughly ratcheting up any online debate with a healthy dose of misanthropic hatred of others. That combination is ideally suited to the increasing online tendency towards acrimonious debate, virtue signaling, and confirmation bias,” opined the wizened professor.