A blog dedicated to providing quotes by and posts relating to one of the most influential (and quotable!) authors of the twentieth century, G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936). If you do not know much about GKC, I suggest visiting the webpage of the American Chesterton Society as well as this wonderful Chesterton Facebook Page by a fellow Chestertonian

I also have created a list detailing examples of the influence of Chesterton if you are interested, that I work on from time to time.

(Moreover, for a list of short GKC quotes, I have created one here, citing the sources)

"...Stevenson had found that the secret of life lies in laughter and humility."

-Heretics (1905)

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"The Speaker" Articles

A book I published containing 112 pieces Chesterton wrote for the newspaper "The Speaker" at the beginning of his career.

They are also available for free electronically on another blog of mine here, if you wish to read them that way.




Monday, November 20, 2017

"... we must always realise not only the humanity of the oppressed, but even the humanity of the oppressor."

The one thing [Dickens] did not describe in any of the abuses he denounced was the soul-destroying potency of routine. He made out the bad school, the bad parochial system, the bad debtor's prison as very much jollier and more exciting than they may really have been. In a sense, then, he flattered them; but he destroyed them with the flattery. By making Mrs. Gamp delightful he made her impossible. He gave every one an interest in Mr. Bumble's existence; and by the same act gave every one an interest in his destruction. It would be difficult to find a stronger instance of the utility and energy of the method which we have, for the sake of argument, called the method of the optimistic reformer. As long as low Yorkshire schools were entirely colourless and dreary, they continued quietly tolerated by the public and quietly intolerable to the victims. So long as Squeers was dull as well as cruel he was permitted; the moment he became amusing as well as cruel he was destroyed. As long as Bumble was merely inhuman he was allowed. When he became human, humanity wiped him right out. For in order to do these great acts of justice we must always realise not only the humanity of the oppressed, but even the humanity of the oppressor. The satirist had, in a sense, to create the images in the mind before, as an iconoclast, he could destroy them. Dickens had to make Squeers live before be could make him die.
-Charles Dickens (1906)

Friday, November 17, 2017

"...the artist is not so much to copy the works of God as to copy the work of God..."

[...] the artist is not so much to copy the works of God as to copy the work of God, in the sense of the working of God; or the way in which God works. There will be in his art the same, or some approximation to the same, spirit and tendency of line and motion and balance; because there is only one creation and no inspiration from outside it. But the work will rather be that of the child of God making his own smaller world than the servant of God copying the details of the larger one. And as even the Divine Creator pours forth his cataracts in a manner proper to water and not to something else, as he carves even his trees in a style properly to be called wood-carving and not stone-carving, as he hollows the rock in one way and the wave in another, so the human creator also is right to recognise the materials in which his meaning is bodied forth; and to express it in his own materials and not in an imitation of the cosmic materials. As Mr. Gill once expressed it in a speech somewhere, "A sculptor has to make a man; but it has to be a stone man. It has to be the sort of man that God would have made, if He had chosen to make him in stone."
-A Handful of Authors (1953)

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Stephen King reference to GKC

Stephen King, in his book Danse Macabre, while commenting on Jekyll and Hyde, mentions GKC:
Like a police-court trial (to which the critic G.K. Chesterton compared it), we get the narrative through a series of different voices, and it is through the testimony of those involved that Dr. Jekyll's unhappy tale unfolds.

Friday, October 6, 2017

"Facts as facts do not always create a spirit of reality, because reality is a spirit."

Facts as facts do not always create a spirit of reality, because reality is a spirit. Facts by themselves can often feed the flame of madness, because sanity is a spirit. Consider the huge accumulations of detail piled up by men who have some crazy hobby of believing that Herodotus wrote Homer or that the Great Pyramid was a prophecy of the Great War. Consider the concrete circumstances and connected narratives that can often be given at vast lengths and in laborious detail by men who suffer from a  delusion of being persecuted, or being disinherited, or being the rightful King of England. These men are maddened by material facts; they are lunatics not by their fancies but by having learned too many facts. What they lack is proportion: a thing as invisible as beauty, as inscrutable as God.
-Come to Think of It (1930)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Chesterton inspriation for a rock album

Apparently Chesterton was the inspiration for rock album! :-) From an interview with
Jonathan Jackson of Enation:

So how was “Radio Cinematic” inspired by Chesterton? Jonathan explained, “I love G.K. Chesterton. I’m a huge C.S. Lewis fan and I discovered that he was influenced by Chesterton, so I started reading some of his work. But there was a particular theme in one of his books. I can’t remember if it was in ‘Orthodoxy’ or ‘The Everlasting Man.’ It had to do with your second childhood. And in his witty, brilliant way, he talked about – as you grow up, you get this invitation to enter your second childhood. I have felt that in my own life. Growing up, the world has its way of beating you down. I think one of the toughest things to live with is genuine joy. So in the band, we’ve always seen joy and having a sense of hope as a kind of rebellion. It’s not this passive, docile, soft thing that people oftentimes think. It actually comes from a place of having to fight.
[Source]

BTW, apparently Jonathan Jackson is also an Emmy Award winning actor as well. From his Wikipedia page:
Jonathan Stevens Jackson (born May 11, 1982) is an American actor, musician and author. His first well known character was Lucky Spencer on the ABC Daytime soap opera General Hospital, a role which has won him five Emmy Awards. In 2002, he played Jesse Tuck in the film Tuck Everlasting. In 2004 he started the band Enation (currently: Jonathan Jackson + Enation) with his brother, actor Richard Lee Jackson and friend Daniel Sweatt. He currently portrays Avery Barkley in the CMT drama Nashville.

Friday, September 22, 2017

[...] a man teaches a great deal by what he does not teach.
-May 12, 1905 Daily News

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Fr. Ronald Knox and Orson Welles's broadcast of The War of the Worlds

Interesting anecdote concerning Fr. Ronald Knox (who, given his close friendship with GKC, it seems this blog is an appropriate place to post this):
In January 1926, for one of his regular BBC Radio programmes, our hero broadcast a simulated live report of revolution sweeping across London entitled Broadcasting from the Barricades. In addition to live reports of several people, including a government minister, being lynched, his broadcast mixed supposed band music from the Savoy Hotel with the hotel’s purported destruction by trench mortars. The Houses of Parliament and the clock tower were also said to have been flattened. Because the broadcast occurred on a snowy weekend, much of the United Kingdom was unable to get the newspapers until days later. The lack of newspapers caused a minor panic, as it was believed that this was caused by the events in London.

A 2005 BBC report on the broadcast suggests that the innovative style of our heroe’s programme may have influenced Orson Welles’s radio broadcast “The War of the Worlds” (1938), which foreshadowed it in its consequences. In an interview for the book This is Orson Welles, Welles himself said that the broadcast gave him the idea for “The War of the Worlds”! [emphasis mine] [source]
I had been aware of "Broadcasting the Barricades" before as well as the speculation that it influenced Orson Welles' broadcast, but I had been unaware until now that Welles himself stated it gave him the idea. (Of course, less than two months before his "War of the Worlds" broadcast, Orson Welles had done a broadcast of GKC's novel The Man Who Was Thursday.)

Thursday, September 14, 2017

If there is any blunder which the past made carelessly, the present will reduplicate [it] carefully. Social reform, as now understood, seems to mean turning all our most antiquated sins into a system.
-October 12, 1912, Illustrated London News

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Press is no longer holding up a dim or dusty or cracked mirror to the world; it is simply painting a sort of mad picture of the world, which is a pastiche of a hundred pictures of anything or nothing, most of them badly painted and all of them badly chosen
-February 15, 1930, G.K's Weekly
[H/T American Chesterton Society]

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Princess Diana and Maurice Baring

From the latest issue of Gilbert (July/Aug 2017), this interesting fact concerning one of Chesterton's best friends (featured with him and Belloc in the painting The Conversation Piece), Maruice Baring
[...] Baring's sister, the Honorable Margaret Baring, was married to Charles Spencer, the 6th Earl Spencer, and their great-granddaughter was none other than Diana, Princess of Wales which makes Maurice Baring her great-great uncle.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

James Mattis quoting GKC

Secretary of Defense James Mattis quoted GKC in the opening of a speech he gave last week:
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. G.K. Chesterton once said: “Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water, and yet drink death like wine.”
Senator Peters, Deputy Secretary Shanahan, Secretary Speer – wonderful words. General Milley, great words. Sergeant Major Dailey, but most of all, to Charlie Tigers and Specialist Five Jim McCloughan... Cherie, you married well to a most wonderful person. They met at the Messiah, a reminder for all you young troops to go to church. [Source]
 [H/T American Chesterton Society]