"It's your pasture now, and it's not so big--only three thousand miles from east to west, only two thousand miles from north to south--but all between, where ten thousand points of light prick out the cities, towns, and villages, there, seeker, you will find us burning in the night."
-- Thomas Wolfe, 1939, in the book "You Can't Go Home Again"
My brother, this week, brought up this phrase used by President Bush (the senior) back in the late 1980s, and how it was some key 'phrase' that you'd think about all the time.
Few realize, that while Wolfe was beginning to really pick up steam and be recognized in the mid-1930s as a great writer....he'd be dead by 1938, from TB. He was 37 years old.
The book "You Can't Go Home Again", 700 pages? It basically got published two years after his death, and most suggest that the majority of the book (maybe the quote itself) was some message that Wolfe wanted to convey as the goodness of America and folks who reside there. In the book, Wolfe wants to say something about the fondness of memories, and that it's awful hard to relive those memories. In a way, he was saying that when you think you've hit some lucky streak in life....enjoy that while you can.
I suspect that Wolfe would today be put in the top forty American writers of all time. If he'd lived through WW II and into the 1950s? He'd probably be ranked as either number one or number two of all time.