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.




Saturday, December 31, 2016

I generally make my New Year resolutions somewhere towards the end of May, for I belong to that higher order of beings who not only forget to keep promises, but forget even to make them. Besides, my birthday is somewhere about then; and I like to be born again at the time I was born.
-January 11, 1913, Daily News

Thursday, December 29, 2016

"The king was whipped in the cathedral, a performance which I recommend to those who regret the unpopularity of church-going."

When four knights scattered the blood and brains of St. Thomas of Canterbury, it was not only as sign of anger but a sort of black admiration. They wished for his blood, but the wished even more for his brains. Such a blow will remain forever unintelligible unless we realize what the brains of St. Thomas were thinking about just before they were distributed over the floor. They were thinking about the great mediaval conception that the church is the judge of the world. Becket objected to a priest being tried even by the Lord Chief Justice. And his reason was simple: because the Lord Chief Justice was being tried by the priest. The judiciary was itself sub judice. The kings were themselves in the dock. The idea was to create an invisible kingdom, without armies or prisons, but with complete freedom to condemn publicly all the kingdoms of the earth. Whether such a supreme church would have cured society we cannot affirm definitely; because the church was never a supreme church. We only know that in England at any rate the princes conquered the saints. What the world wanted we see before us; and some of us call it a failure. But we cannot call what the church wanted a failure, simply because the church failed. Tracy struck a little too soon. England had not yet made the great Protestant discovery that the king can do no wrong. The king was whipped in the cathedral, a performance which I recommend to those who regret the unpopularity of church-going. But the discovery was made, and Henry VIII scattered Becket's bones as easily as Tracy has scattered his brains.
What's Wrong With the World (1910)

Monday, December 26, 2016

Nor, for that matter, do I know why [...] the parliamentary enclosure at Westminster is also connected with the first of the martyrs; unless it be because St. Stephen was killed with stones. The stones piled together to make modern political buildings, might perhaps be regarded as a cairn, or heap of missiles, marking the place of the murder of a witness to the truth
-Irish Impressions (1919)

"Many modern writers have rejected every kind of rigid creed upon the ground that such creeds made against the variety and the vivacity of life."

For herein lies the last and not the least important of the defences that must be made for that element of dogma or clear and pugnacious theory which the modern world so largely discourages and dilutes. Many modern writers have rejected every kind of rigid creed upon the ground that such creeds made against the variety and the vivacity of life.

The truth is that it is only in the light of such creeds that we become conscious of any variety or any vivacity at all. If, let us say, I accept a fixed standard of goodness, I can then adopt or discuss the pleasing and stimulating proposition that Caesar Borgia was a good man. If I have no standard of goodness, then I can have no opinion about the matter; Caesar Borgia and I are two entirely distinct and unmeaning facts with no relation to each other; between me and Caesar Borgia there is no tie at all, which is a very sad state of things.

The fixed beliefs of mankind have given us all our own heresies and eccentricities, for they have given us the very terms in which we talk. Even paradox (a word which I seem to have seen somewhere) depends, like every other statement, upon the terms used in it being firm, intelligible, and even orthodox. If a man were really sceptical about everything he would not be able to think paradox or to think anything. He may be trying to prove that black is white; but even to do that he must be certain black is black.
-August 26, 1905, Daily News

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Harry Houdini and GKC

Interesting...
Houdiniphiles know Harry was a big fan of Sherlock Holmes and a friendly rival of Holmes' creator, Arthur Conan Doyle. Less known is Harry's affection for the invisible man of 20th century literature, the writer and philosopher G. K. Chesterton.
http://www.houdinifile.com/2016/10/houdinis-invisible-man_15.html

Friday, December 16, 2016

"If there is really no justification for dipping into a book [...] it seems really doubtful whether there is any justification for dipping into existence, as we all of us do."

If it is really useless for us to judge of anything in samples (and so the most artistic critics tell us), then, certainly, we are all in a most difficult position. There is that interesting object, the earth, for instance, we cannot see it in its entirety, except by going to the moon and then somewhat obscurely; we see as much of it as we can get hold of. The universe itself cannot show us its unity; we have to judge it in selections. If there is really no justification for dipping into a book, as is the habit of some of us, it seems really doubtful whether there is any justification for dipping into existence, as we all of us do. Whenever and wherever we are born, we are coming into the middle of something; at whatever time we first begin to take notice, we are reading the last chapter of some story first. Once establish the proposition that good things are useless, if they are fragmentary, and all our lives, religion, principles, politics and habits, become useless indeed. For whether they are good or bad, they are all fragmentary.
-G.K.C. as M.C. (1929)

Friday, December 9, 2016

"But Christmas is not merely the glory of any god; it is especially the worship of a divine childhood."

But Christmas is not merely the glory of any god; it is especially the worship of a divine childhood. Its main lesson is the lesson of simplicity, a lesson very difficult for all of us. We have all studied things too much, and we are none of us simple enough to see them. Alike in our social sympathy and in our social indignation, we need a kind of new birth and an intellectual innocence. For instance, on the kindlier side of Christmas we say what seems simple enough, 'The child thinks that Santa Claus gives the toys; but really the father and mother give them.' But we never ask 'and who gives the father and mother?' We are not simple enough to ask that question. We are not simple enough to be able even to see the father and mother, in the sense that we see the toys in the stocking. I do not suggest that Santa Claus can be expected to put our father in our stocking. But I say that it is a beautiful and strictly supernatural thing that he has contrived to put our father into his own stockings
-December 23, 1905, Daily News

Thursday, December 8, 2016

[...] how can I love my neighbour as myself if he gets out of range for snowballs?
-Alarms and Discursions (1910)

Sunday, December 4, 2016

"When a thing of the intellect is settled it is not dead: rather it is immortal."

When a thing of the intellect is settled it is not dead: rather it is immortal. The multiplication table is immortal, and so is the fame of Shakspere [sic]. But the fame of Zola is not dead or not immortal; it is at its crisis, it is in the balance; and may be found wanting. The French, therefore, are quite right in considering it a living question. It is still living as a question, because it is not yet solved. But Shakspere is not a living question: he is a living answer.
-All Things Considered (1908)