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, September 30, 2011

"It may be...the whole meaning of death; that heaven, knowing how we tire of our toys, forces us to hold this life on a frail and romantic tenure."

Suppose, for the sake of argument, that a man were turned into a mackerel. His sentiments touching the change may not be a matter for urgent, but they cannot fail to be a matter for clarifying consideration. There are many things that he would lose by passing into the fishy state; such as the pleasure of being in the neighborhood of a Free Library, the pleasure of climbing the Alps, the pleasure of taking snuff, the pleasure of joining a heroic political minority, and also, I suppose and hope, the pleasure of having mackerel for breakfast. But there is one pleasure which the man made mackerel would, I think, lose more completely and finally than any of these pleasures: I allude to the pleasure of sea-bathing. To dip his head in cold water would not be something sacred and startling; it would not be to have all stars in his eyes and all song in his ears. For the sea-creature knows nothing of the sea, just as the earth-creature knows nothing of the earth. This forgetfulness of what we have is the real Fall of Man and the Fall of All Things. The evil which infects the immense goodness of existence does not embody itself in the fact that men are weary of woes and oppressions. It embodies itself in the shameful fact that they are often weary of joys and weary of generosities. Poetry, the highest form of literature, has here its immortal function; it is engaged continually in a desperate and divine battle against things being taken for granted. A fierce sense of the value of things lies at the heart, not merely of optimistic literature, but of much of the best literature which is called pessimistic. Assuredly it lies at the heart of tragedy; for if lives were not valuable tragedies would not be tragic. If life begins by taking things for granted, poetry answers by taking things away. It may be that this is indeed the whole meaning of death; that heaven, knowing how we tire of our toys, forces us to hold this life on a frail and romantic tenure.

-Found in an article reprinted in The Living Age, volume 244 (January, February, March 1905)

Read article here, starting near the bottom of the page

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