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 11, 2013

"Byron was magnanimous because he was self-deceptive."

But by a confusion natural enough from a superficial point of view, he joins on to this a claim that Byron was "sincere"--that is to say, that he was not affected or self-deceiving. Now we are perfectly ready to maintain that if Byron was sincere in this sense he was one of the most despicable curs born. His heroes certainly boast of being blase and there is nothing in the least magnanimous about being blase. Men's souls do not expand in the cold any more than water-pipes. If we are to take Byron on his own estimate, if his heart was really withered and his power of joy gone, he cannot possibly be called a teacher of magnanimity. We might have infinite pity for his loss of freshness as we might have infinite pity for his club foot. But to ask mankind to bow down to an aristocracy of club feet would be a little unreasonable.

We believe, however, that the author's literary and ethical instinct does not mislead him in telling him that Byron was a teacher of magnanimity. The real explanation, as it appears to us, does not seem to have struck him. Byron was magnanimous because he was self-deceptive. While he imagined that he was feeling and preaching a desolate creed of premature old age, he was really feeling and preaching the fierce joy of youth in dark and lonely and elemental things. It is the joyful spirit that loves the wilderness and the tempest: the man who is really forlorn and bitter generally takes refuge in the nearest restaurant. Byron dressed up his profound poetic pleasure in a vile dress, the funeral trappings of a vulgar stage conspirator, but the real power and charm in his work lies in the splendid affectation of a boy, which is merely the expression of that primal "delight of the eyes" to which the fiercest flames are golden and darkness itself is only too dense a purple.

-January 12, 1901, The Speaker

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