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)


"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, March 19, 2018

Existence often ceases to be beautiful; but if we are men at all it never ceases to be interesting. This divine creation in the midst of which we live does commonly, in the words of the good books, combine amusement with instruction. But dark hours will come when the wisest man can hardly get instruction out of it; but a brave man can always get amusement out of it. When we have given up valuing life for every other reason, we can still value it, like the glass stick, as a curiosity. For the universe is like the glass stick in this, at any rate; it is unique.
-The Glass Walking Stick (1955)

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Chesterton cheered at the dedication of Notre Dame Stadium

Chesterton, at the dedication of Notre Dame Stadium:
The Chesterton party arrived at Notre Dame on the evening of October 4th, 1930. The lectures began on the following Monday. On Friday, the 10th, in the evening, the stadium was solemnly dedicated. Navy had come on for the dedicatory game, and [University President] Father O'Donnell was busy with them. He had told Johnny Mangan, the University chauffeur, to look after the Chestertons, and to see that they got into the stadium and that Mr. Chesterton had a seat on the platform from which the speeches were to be made, There were about twenty thousand people present, and when the students saw the magnificent bulk of Chesterton going toward the platform, they cheered wildly: "He's a man! Who's a man? He's a Notre Dame man!" Chesterton turned nervously to Mangan, saying: "My, they're angry!" "Angry!" exclaimed Johnny, "golly man, they're cheerin' you!" Whereat Chesterton began such a fit of laughing and sputtering as almost to choke himself.
-"Notre Dame: One Hundred Years" (Arthur J. Hope, C.S.C.)[emphasis mine]

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Here is a long passage from Chesterton on socialism (from his "Notebook", I think?) that was never published during his lifetime, and written when he was in his early 20's, before he was even a committed Christian, much less a Catholic (and before his literary career had even begun).

He had supported socialism when he was a teenager, and while he was never a fan of capitalism, as he defined it, to the end of his life (especially given the circumstances of his own day with all the monopolies and poor and unsafe conditions for workers, etc, but also because of his distributist beliefs), he came to see socialism as a deeply flawed solution, even while recognizing the nobility of the motives of many of the people supporting it. (Recall this passage, for instance, was written long before the Russian revolution, and so many good people who detested the admittedly abominable conditions of laissez faire capitalism, at least relatively speaking, of that day looked to socialism as a remedy ). And in this passage, again written in his early 20's (in the mid-to-late 1890's)....he shows precisely where it differs from early Christian practice, which it was (and is) often said to imitate 

Something in the evil spirit of our time forces people always to pretend to have found some material and mechanical explanation [...] It never crosses the modern mind to fancy that perhaps a people is chiefly influenced by how that people has chosen to behave.
-George Bernard Shaw (1909)

Friday, March 16, 2018

[G.F. Watts] may not be certain that he is successful, or certain that he is great, or certain that he is good, or certain that he is capable; but he is certain that he is right. It is of course the very element of confidence which has in our day become least common and least possible. We know we are brilliant and distinguished, but we do not know we are right. We swagger in fantastic artistic costumes; we praise ourselves; we fling epigrams right and left; we have the courage to play the egoist and the courage to play the fool, but we have not the courage to preach.
-G.F. Watts (1904)

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The next best thing to really loving a fellow creature is really hating him: especially when he is a poorer man separated from you otherwise by mere social stiffness. The desire to murder him is at least an acknowledgment that he is alive. Many a man has owed the first white gleams of the dawn of Democracy in his soul to a desire to find a stick and beat the butler.
-The Flying Inn (1914)

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Spanish people think Cervantes
Equal to half a dozen Dantes,
An opinion resented most bitterly
By the people of Italy.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

She thought nothing should be wasted; and could not see that even a thing consumed is wasted if it is not wanted.
-Autobiography (1936)

Monday, March 12, 2018

The sin of sentimentalism only occurs when somebody indulges a feeling, sometimes even a real feeling, to the prejudice of something equally real, which also has it's rights.
-August 10, 1927, Illustrated London News

Sunday, March 11, 2018

"..the inevitable result of love, which is incarnation; and the inevitable result of incarnation, which is crucifixion..."

The final decision of Peter Pan was a bad example of having it both ways. What is really wrong with that delightful masterpiece is that the master asked a question and ought to have answered it. But he could not bring himself to answer it- or rather, he tried to say "yes" and "no" in one word. A very fine problem of poetic philosophy might be presented as the problem of Peter Pan. He is represented as a sort of everlasting elf, a child who never changes age after age, but who in this story falls in love with a little girl who is a normal person. He is given his choice between becoming normal with her or remaining immortal without her, and either choice might have been made a fine and effective thing. He might have said that he was a god- that he loved all, but could not live for any; that he belonged not to them but to multitudes of unborn babes. Or he might have chosen love, with the inevitable result of love, which is incarnation; and the inevitable result of incarnation, which is crucifixion- yes, if it were only crucifixion by becoming a clerk in a bank and growing old. But it was the fork of the road; and even in fairyland you cannot walk down two roads at once. The one real fault of sentimentalism in this fairy play is the compromise that is ultimately made, whereby he shall go free for ever, but meet his human friend once a year. Like most practical compromises, it is the most unpractical of all possible courses of action. Even the baby in that nursery could have seen that Wendy would be ninety in no time, after what would appear to her immortal lover a mere idle half-hour.
-August 20, 1927, Illustrated London News

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Chesterton in a letter to Mrs. John Lane, writing concerning a group called "The Peckham Ethical Fellowship":
Isn't it too beautiful? I'm sure they come out of a book. I only wish they'd go back into it.
[quoted in G.K. Chesterton: A Biography by Ian Ker, p. 139]

Sorry, but that made me laugh, so I had to share it for some light-hearted fun. :-)

Friday, March 9, 2018

[...] the basest of pleasures [is] the pleasure of being pained [...] the pleasure of being shocked, the pleasure of being censorious- in a word, the pleasure of scandal.
-August 18, 1923, Illustrated London News