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.




Tuesday, April 2, 2013

"No one can know what Stevenson's life was, except, perhaps, Stevenson, who no doubt had glimmerings from time to time."

When Robert Louis Stevenson was a little boy, he once made the following remark to his mother: "Mother, I've drawed a man. Shall I draw his soul now?" This remark bears some traces perhaps of that over-formalised Scottish religion in which a man's soul was not so much himself as a very delicate younger brother whom he had to save at all costs.

But the remark has, nevertheless,a great deal of cogency in the question of all biographies, and especially in the biography of a man like Stevenson. Even if Mr. Graham Balfour's Life be the best ever written of one man by another, we cannot escape from the reflection of how strange it is to call such a thing a man's life. A man's life is held to mean what he did, the whole external pantomine of his existence. But this is in fact the most lifeless part of him, being the furthest removed from the centre of life. No one can know what Stevenson's life was, except, perhaps, Stevenson, who no doubt had glimmerings from time to time. The only biography that is really possible is autobiography. To recount the actions of another man is not biography, it is zoology, the noting down of the habits of a new and outlandish animal. It is most valuable and interesting, but it does not deal with the spring and spirit of a man's existence. It may fill ten volumes with anecdotes without once touching upon his life. It has drawed a man, but it has not drawed his soul.

-from an article in the Daily News, written in 1901
Collected in A Handful of Authors (1953)

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