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.




Monday, February 25, 2013

"...this age is much more influenced by art than by thought."

...this age is much more influenced by art than by thought. True thought, like the sword in some Eastern story, because of its very sharpness is to us as invisible as a hair.

-The Dublin Review [Reprinted in The Living Age, voume 272, January, February, March 1912]

4 comments:

coffeepotcurve said...

This is so true. Although I am not sure we are influenced by art much either now.

Mike said...

No doubt that is true, though to the extent we are influenced by either, it is much more art rather than thought.

The reason, however, this quote struck me so much is because it encapsulates perfectly an observation I saw made in a post by one of my favorite current writers, Mike Flynn, on his blog in a post from 2010:
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Now, about Sherlock Holmes and Pelham 1-2-3.

If you have not seen the original movie The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3 [or read the book. Yes, there was a book.] do so now. I'll wait.


If you have not read the Sherlock Holmes story, you are an ignorant peasant with dung on your boots and not worth the time of day. However, if you saw the Jeremy Brett TV series, or even the old Basil Rathbone movies, you make the cut.

And surely you have seen the original Star Trek TV shows. The movies... wait for a while until we get there.

There has been a remake of Pelham 1-2-3 starring Travolta.
There has been a "reimagining" of Star Trek.
There are ads on the TV for a new Sherlock Holmes, starring Downey.

What all these have in common (or seem to, in the case of the ads) is that stories that were paradigmatically stories of reason -- the hijacker of the subway train, Spock (but even Bones and Kirk), Holmes -- are becoming the kind of people who say "I feel that..." rather than "I think that..."

The ads for the new Holmes movie looks like an action-adventure: Iron Man does Victorian London. The New Spock is anything but cerebral. He had no trouble showing emotion. And the icy and sociopath Robert Shaw has given way to the crazed and pathological John Travolta.

This represents not only the Triumph of the Will over the Intellect, but also the triumph of the visual over the textual. The script matters a whole lot less than the cinematography these days, and the visual is foremost a non-logical medium. Logic, from λογος, meaning the word. The text appeals first to the intellect and only passes through the senses. But the visual appeals precisely to the senses. The visual may stimulate thought; but words must stimulate thought.

We are now seeing movies made by directors whose primary imaginations are visual, who never knew a world without television. Somewhere in the no man's land between the original Sherlock, the original Star Trek, the original Pelham and their newer incarnations, we seem to have crossed a line.

Or maybe not.
(emphasis mine)

Mike said...

in a post by one of my favorite current writers, Mike Flynn, on his blog in a post from 2010

*brought to you by the Department of Redundancy Department* :-)

coffeepotcurve said...

Oh LOL Now I see what you mean. I guess in general you never even think of how influenced by the "arts" we are.