The Magazine

Hunting . . . for the Hell of It

Hipsters need not apply.

Jan 21, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 18 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
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The urge is too primitive, too deeply embedded in the blood, to be accounted for rationally. No one has yet come closer than Ortega y Gasset, who put it like this in his Meditations on Hunting:

Pushed by reason, man is condemned to make progress, and this means that he is condemned to go farther and farther away from Nature, to construct in its place an artificial Nature. .  .  . [F]ar from hunting’s being a “reasoned pursuit” of the animal, the greatest enemy of hunting is reason.

Ortega famously summed up the paradox that lies at the heart of hunting with this: “One does not hunt in order to kill; on the contrary, one kills in order to have hunted.”

And just how hip is that?

Geoffrey Norman, a writer in Vermont, is a frequent contributor to The Weekly Standard.

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