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)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Jorge Luis Borges on Chesterton

Just making a post of some references to Chesterton by Jorge Luis Borges I have come across just doing a quick search on Google Books. I haven't included them all, and even among the ones I did include, some are more or less repetitive statements (being made on different occasions), but I still thought it would be interesting to note them. Even if no one else is interested in a list of them, I am at least. :-)

(1998) [a book of interviews]

"...Chesterton knew how to make the most of a detective story. Far more than Ellery Queen or Erle Stanley Gardner. Well, Ellery Queen's quite a good story." (p. 24)

"I also have a great affection for Chesterton" (p. 59)

 "I think that one of the charms of Chesterton...is the fact that when you read The Father Brown Saga or The Man Who Was Thursday or The Man Who Knew Too Much, you feel that all of those things that are happening in London are not in real London- if there be such a thing as real London- but in fairy London." (p. 152)

"I'm always citing Chesterton" (p. 169)

"And then there is another writer I greatly admire: Chesterton" (p. 197)

"Homer and Chesterton are really desirable goals. I wish I could. Really, I am unworthy. My writing is unworthy of my reading, eh"  (p. 206)

When you speak of Chesterton and Stevenson and other English writers, you seem most delighted by their styles.
"In the case of Chesterton, there are many other things, eh?" (p. 207)

Can you speak about your own style

"Well, when I was a young man, I did my best to be Chesterton, to be Lugones, to be Quevedo, to be Stevenson. Then after that, I said no, I'll just be Borges, and that's that. A very modest ambition. But after all, people like it." (p. 207)

Professor Borges: A Course on English Literature (2013)

"...perhaps the best book about [Robert] Browning, a delightful book to read, is a book that Chesterton published in the first decade of this century, in the year 1907 or 1909, I think, and it is part of that admirable series, English Men of Letters. Reading a biography of Chesterton, written by his secretary, Maisie Ward, I read that all of Chesterton's quotations of Browning in the book were wrong. But they were wrong because Chesterton had read Browning so much that he had not needed to consult Browning's work a single time. He was wrong precisely because he knew it. It is a pity that the editor of the series, English Men of Letters, Virginia Woolf's father, Leslie Stephen, reinstated the original text. It would have been interesting to compare Browning's original text to how they appear in Chesterton's text. Unfortunately they were corrected, and the printed book contains Browning's texts. It would have been lovely to know how Chesterton transformed in his memory Browning's verses- for memory is also made up of forgetting."

[There are some factual errors in the above quote, but I liked this quote especially.]

Twenty-Four Conversations with Borges (1984)

"Chesterton is one of my favorite authors"

Seven Nights  (2009)

"There is another author we must add: Chesterton, Stevenson's heir. The fantastic London in which occur the adventures of Father Brown and of The Man Who Was Thursday would not exist if he hadn't read Stevenson. " (p. 56)

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