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.




Tuesday, April 10, 2012

"If all your world agrees that the great men are on one side and the small men on the other, it is because yours is a world of small men."

There is one very silly trick of words which has taken hold of many sects and sections of to-day: I mean the habit of saying, "All the best intellects of to-day think so and so"....Now, the best intellects are not agreed on these things- or on anything else. There never was a time when our civilisation was quite so flattened and degraded that all the clever people thought the same thing....If you say that all modern minds are tending in one progressive direction, you prove your own provinciality and even backwardness. If you think that all great Europeans are "advanced," you must be yourself behind the times.

If it is to some extent true that we hear more of certain writers....than of greater writers....the reason is amusingly simple. It is because [their] opinions happen to be more fashionable opinions in the particular province of which we are provincials....If all your world agrees that the great men are on one side and the small men on the other, it is because yours is a world of small men...

We should think it rather unconvincing if a Cavalier, just after the Restoration, had argued that all the great Ministers of State, by a curious coincidence, were Cavaliers. We should not be wholly satisfied with the argument of a Catholic if he said, "See how Catholics succeed! The position of Pope is the highest in Christendom, and every man who ever got it was a Catholic." We should think it inconclusive if an Anglican remarked shrewdly on the fact that each of the two English Archbishops is an Anglican, and neither of them a Wesleyan Methodist. Yet it is every inch as foolish to argue that all great writers are rationalists merely because rationalistic people generally read rationalistic books. It is equally foolish to argue that everything that is happening is Socialistic, merely because, when you are in Socialist circles, you generally hear the Socialist news.....If we (I mean the educated English middle class) wish to play a great part in the history of Europe, as we have often done in the past, we must simply squelch and silence all this cheap cultured chatter about the clearest modern tendencies and the greatest modern minds. One might as well talk about tendencies in the middle of the Battle of Waterloo. Our first business is to find out that there is a battle; our second to take a side or be silent.

-April 6, 1912, Illustrated London News

No comments: