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, February 9, 2013

"...death is precisely the breakdown of our mortal powers of praise: that when we cease to wonder we die; that we have to be dipped once more in darkness, before we can see the sun once more."

Melancholy, in the sound old Miltonic sense, had nothing to do with pessimism. Sorrow, indeed, is always the opposite of pessimism; for sorrow is based on the value of something, pessimism on the value of nothing. Men have never believed genuinely in that idle and fluent philosophy (a theme for the devil's copybooks) which declares that earthly things are worthless because they are fleeting. Men do not fling their cigars into the fire at the thought that they will only last fifteen minutes, or shoot their favourite aunts through the head on the reflection that they can only live fifteen years. Nor is it from such thankless railing at this world that men have gained the best hopes for another. It is strange that sages and saints should have sought so often to prove the splendour of the house from the darkness of its porch. If we could really believe in the meanness of the meanest dust-bin, there would be no reason for not believing in the utter meanness of the stars. Surely it is far more credible that death is precisely the breakdown of our mortal powers of praise: that when we cease to wonder we die; that we have to be dipped once more in darkness, before we can see the sun once more.

-March 16, 1901, The Speaker

3 comments:

Becky Doane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
coffee pot curve said...

"Men have never believed genuinely in that idle and fluent philosophy (a theme for the devil's copybooks) which declares that earthly things are worthless because they are fleeting. Men do not fling their cigars into the fire at the thought that they will only last fifteen minutes, or shoot their favorite aunts through the head on the reflection that they can only live fifteen years. "
Very well done this is one of those unspoken or at least hard to articulate proofs that God exists and there is more to man then this world. The very essence of the nonsense of a true pessimist like a true atheist is almost impossible to be.

Mike said...

:-)