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.




Thursday, July 7, 2011

"Most of our knowledge is based upon dreams, which we have taken as the most reliable evidence scientifically possible."

Archbishop Fulton Sheen, in his book Peace of Soul (1949) while discussing an extreme form of Freudianism which interprets everything in terms of sex, quoted the following satire that appeared in G.K.'s Weekly. (In another book the Archbishop attributed the satire directly to Chesterton, who wrote a lot of the material in that newspaper, of course.). This quote appears on p. 120 in my edition of Peace of Soul.

I had never come across this satire until tonight, but I found it humorous. :-)

It is now an established fact that all human motive and action is due to Beer; not merely among adults but also among children...

The whole life of a child (of either sex) is actuated by Beer. The first action of which a child is capable is a lusty yell; we have established that this is no less than a cry for Beer, or at any rate for some kind of drink. The next action of the child is to drink. If it does not drink beer it is because its system is not yet capable of drinking beer. But behind the relish of milk is the desire for beer. These we call the primary instincts. The secondary instincts are to be found in the love of popping corks, of yellow-brown colours, of frothy substances (like soup), and so on. The child instinctively calls his father Papa (which represents the popping of the cork), and his mother Mamma (which gives the noise of the liquid being poured into a glass). All the gurgling noises of childhood go to prove the strength of the instinct...

Most of our knowledge is based upon dreams, which we have taken as the most reliable evidence scientifically possible. We know (by means too long and elaborate to tell here) that even very young children dream about beer; nay, more, that they dream about nothing else. When a child dreams of a boat upon a lake, what is it but a symbol of beer? Of a shower of rain, a river, a sea? Everything yellow or brown is beer. Everything frothy or sparkling is beer. Everything in something else is beer (a nut in its shell, for example, is obviously representative of beer in the bottle). Everything issuing from an aperture is beer. Everything that moves is beer, particularly quick-moving, jerky things, which are reminiscent of "hops." In fact, we may say that the child cannot dream of anything but beer. There is no dream possible but beer....

Here is an example. The patient was Miss X. She came to us in great trouble. "My nerves are all gone to pieces," she said. "I want you to help me." Professor Bosh questioned her, and kept her under observation. He discovered that before going to bed she was in the habit of brushing her hair. "The brush was of an amber colour, and was transparent. The patient would raise it slowly to her lips, pause and then proceed to brush her hair. This was quite unconscious. In reply to my questions it transpired that several years before she had been forbidden by the family doctor to drink anything alcoholic. She had been in the habit of taking a glass of ale every night at supper." Professor Bosh explained this to her, and at once convinced her of its truth. She submitted herself to treatment, and was soon perfectly well and strong.

2 comments:

Lauren (RoseinFaith) said...

This is superb!
You do a fantastic job here, Mike! I love having a daily dose of GKC in my blog-reader. :)

Mike said...

Thanks! :-)

I have also particularly enjoyed your blog, ever since reading the post about Dale Ahlquist Syndrome. lol. :-)