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.




Sunday, February 3, 2013

"It was an artfully expurgated Universe."

There is one mistake made about books to read. The mistakes made by poets and theorists have not been, upon the whole, so numerous and so disastrous as the mistakes which are systematically made by those who are called practical men. A fanatic at least goes mad with the glimpse of a truth. A business man very often lives and works and goes bankrupt with a handful of seedy prejudices. One of these accepted fallacies of business is the idea that the ordinary man naturally prefers works of fiction to works of fact. As matters stand, of course he does, because the novels are written to please him and the books on history and science to please somebody else. But there is more material for popular reading in Tacitus or Darwin than there is in most novels, and one proof of this is obvious. Romance had been written for centuries, the noblest and wildest romance conceived by the most magnificent of human minds; but it was never popular. Then there suddenly descended upon earth a being called a journalist, who, in the very insolence of simplicity, positively made a printed book out of the things that had happened during one day: all the church spires that were struck by lightning, and all the stockbrokers who had fallen off tramcars. And this epic of the actual became the cheapest, the most wide-spread, and the most popular of tales. It did this merely because it knew what to select and had the largest possible area to select from. It was an artfully expurgated Universe. Now, this fascinating collection which the daily journalist made from the chaos of an incalculable world could easily be made, by any one who had the instinct of the picturesque, out of the study of anything, from the habits of beetles to the Lives of the Saints; and in periods like the present, when novel-writing is at a low ebb, the wise reader will more and more feel the continual pleasure of reading a work of history or science, so long as he takes care not to read it systematically.

A novel is a great spiritual truth, a parable of the soul, or it is nothing. But a fact that actually exists is always a fact.

-The Pall Mall Magazine, Volume 25 (1900)

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