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.


Friday, June 10, 2016

"...that warmer and more domestic thing, a house on fire."

Since, like I said a few days ago, I recently read a work of Charlotte Bronte, I decide to re-read some references to her in GKC, and came across this wonderful description of her (also found in his book The Victorian Age in Literature, right after the passage which I quoted the other day.)
But while Emily Brontë was as unsociable as a storm at midnight [...] Charlotte Brontë was [...] like that warmer and more domestic thing, a house on fire [...]

Sunday, June 5, 2016

"Yielding to a temptation is like yielding to a blackmailer; you pay to be free, and find yourself the more enslaved."

The evil of vindictiveness is the same as that of every other sin; it is that in some extraordinary way it tends to destroy the soul, to blacken and eat up the whole nature [...] Yielding to a temptation is like yielding to a blackmailer; you pay to be free, and find yourself the more enslaved. The reality of sin arises, in fact, from the same truth which makes the reality of human poetry and joy. It arises from the fact that the smallest thing in this world has its own infinity [...]

[...] That is the whole point of the position of sin in human psychology, and that is the whole point of the peril of revenge. Hatred is bad [...] because it narrows the soul to a sharp point. It is not merely that Jones desires the death of Brown [...] The evil is that the death of Brown becomes the whole life of Jones. The violent man, in short, tries to break out; but he only succeeds in breaking in. He breaks into smaller and smaller cells of his own subterranean heart till he is suffocated in the smallest, and dies like a rat in a hole.
-August 8, 1908, Daily News

Saturday, June 4, 2016

"Jane Eyre remains the best of [Charlotte Bronte's] books [...] because while it is a human document written in blood, it is also one of the best blood-and-thunder detective stories in the world.

 In any case, it is Charlotte Brontë who enters Victorian literature. The shortest way  of stating her strong contribution is, I think, this: that she reached the highest romance through the lowest realism. She did not set out with Amadis of Gaul in a forest or with Mr. Pickwick in a comic club. She set out with herself, with her own dingy clothes, and accidental ugliness, and flat, coarse, provincial household; and forcibly fused all such muddy materials into a spirited fairy-tale. If the first chapters on the home and school had not proved how heavy and hateful sanity can be, there would really be less point in the insanity of Mr. Rochester's wife—or the not much milder insanity of Mrs. Rochester's husband. She discovered the secret of hiding the sensational in the commonplace: and Jane Eyre remains the best of her books (better even than Villette) because while it is a human document written in blood, it is also one of the best blood-and-thunder detective stories in the world.
-The Victorian Age in Literature (1913)
[I ended up reading the novel this week based on this quote by GKC, and I agree]

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

To a lucid mind Imperialism and patriotism are opposite; patriotism means that boundaries are sacred, and Imperialism means that they are not.
-May 14, 1910, Daily News

Monday, May 23, 2016

"Men never enjoy so much the blazing sun and the rushing wind as when they are out hunting the Devil."

Men are never more awake to the good in the world than when they are furiously awake to the evil in the world. Men never enjoy so much the blazing sun and the rushing wind as when they are out hunting the Devil. On the other hand, there are no people so dreary as philosophical optimists; and men are never so little happy as when they are constantly reassured. Such men have begun by calling the moon as bright as the sun, but they end only by seeing the sun as pallid as the moon. They have made a shameful treaty with shame; and the mark of it is on them. Everything is good, except their own spirits.
-December 16, 1905, Daily News

Sunday, May 22, 2016

"...that strength in reserve which is called laziness"

The dispute that goes on between Macbeth and his wife about the murder of Duncan is almost word for word a dispute which goes on at any suburban breakfast-table about something else. It is merely a matter of changing "Infirm of purpose, give me the daggers", into "infirm of purpose, give me the postage stamps" [...]The strengths of the two partners differ in kind. The woman has more of that strength on the spot which is called industry. The man has more of that strength in reserve which is called laziness.
-The Spice of Life
(collection of essays published posthumously in 1964)

Friday, May 20, 2016

"They all were moderns in their day"

Ballade of Moderns

On deserts red and deserts grey
The temples into sand have slid;
Go search that splendour of decay
To find the final secret hid
In mummies' painted coffin-lid
In hieroglyphs of hunt and play.
Read the last word, my cultured kid,
They all were moderns in their day.

Yes, it was just as bold and gay
To do what Astoreth forbad.
Yes, it was smart to carve in clay
And chic to build a pyramid.
Yes, Babylonian boys were chid
For reading hieroglyphs risqué.
We do but as our fathers did --
They all were moderns in their day.

There are progressives who passed away
And prigs of whom the world is rid,
And there are men in hell today
As silly as old Ben Kidd;
And Webb (whose uncle calls him Sid),
God made him with the flowers of May,
And the blind stones he walked amid.
They all were moderns in their day.

L'Envoi

Prince, still the soul stands virgin; "quid
Times"; we tear some rags away
But shall we grasp her; God forbid.
They all were moderns in their day.

[H/T http://branemrys.blogspot.com/]

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Just a quick post to say I've updated my short GKC quotes list a little (adding  about a dozen more quotes or so the other day).

http://platitudesundone.blogspot.com/2012/01/short-gkc-quotes-list.html

Yes, I'm still here. Hope to get back into the habit of posting regularly soon.

Monday, May 16, 2016

If children see that their teachers despise what their parents desire, there is and must be a conflict of authorities. And there is, and must be, in the modern State, a monstrous discovery; that it is the more new and unnatural authority that has the power.
-December 27, 1918, New Witness
H/T G.K. and Frances Chesterton Facebook page

Monday, May 9, 2016

...whatever else is powerful, a vote is, at this moment, almost powerless....The elections are so artificially inaugurated, the alternative between Tweedledum and Tweedledee is so artificially explained, and the professional politicians once chosen are so artificially protected that the ordinary elector has almost no effect on the ultimate decisions of our politics.
-July 16, 1910, Daily News

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Those who dislike definite religious systems often talk of people 'swallowing' doctrines, and there is a truth in the metaphor, though not as they commonly use it. There is no great harm in swallowing a thing if it feeds you. The great objection to swallowing a thing is that it generally chokes you. And that is exactly what happens to those eager idealists who merely accept words like 'truth' or 'life' or 'progress', as satisfying their spiritual hunger. The words do not so much nourish their spiritual bodies as stop their spiritual breath. Such ideal phrases really are what they say 'dogmas' are: a thing that stops the mind.
-December 28, 1912, Daily News

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Most of the things that are hinted in depreciation of Chaucer could be said as easily in depreciation of Shakespeare. If Chaucer borrowed from Boccaccio and other writers, Shakespeare borrowed from anybody or anything, and often from the same French or Italian sources as his forerunner. The answer indeed is obvious and tremendous; that if Shakespeare borrowed, he jolly well paid back.
-Chaucer (1932)