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)


"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, December 8, 2015

Now, in spite of the wildest claims to independence, the intellectual life of today still strikes me as being mainly symbolised by the train or the track or the groove.  There is any amount of fuss and vivacity about certain fixed fashions or directions of thought; just as there is any amount of rapidity along the fixed rails of the railway-track.  But if we begin to think about really getting off the track, we shall find that what is true of the train is equally true of the truth.  We shall find it is actually harder to get out of the groove, when the train is going fast, than when the train is going slowly.  We shall find that rapidity is rigidity; that the very fact of some social or political or artistic movement going quicker and quicker means that fewer people have the courage to move against it.  And at last perhaps nobody will make a leap for real intellectual liberty, just as nobody will jump out of a railway-train going at eighty miles an hour.  This seems to me the primary mark of what we call progressive thought in the modern world.  It is in the most exact sense of the term limited.  It is all in one dimension.  It is all in one direction.  It is limited by its progress.  It is limited by its speed.

 I have said that it has not the curiosity to stop.  If the train-dwellers were really travellers, exploring a strange country to make discoveries, they would always be stopping at little wayside stations.  For instance, they would always be stopping to consider the curious nature of their own conventional terms; a thing which they never do, by any chance.  Their catchwords are regarded solely as gadgets or appliances for getting them where they are going to; they never cast back a thought upon where the catchword comes from.  Yet that is exactly what they would do if they were really thinking, in any thorough and all-round sense.  Of course it will be understood, touching these intellectual fashions, that great masses, probably the mass of mankind, never travel on the train at all.  They remain in their villages and are much happier and better; but they are not regarded as the intellectual leaders of the time.  What I complain of is that the intellectual leaders can only lead along one narrow track; otherwise known as the ringing groove of change.
-The Common Man (collection of essays published posthumously in 1950)


Brandon Chow said...


Just wanted to let you know that this blog is amazing! I've been following Chesterton for a few years now, but never could find key passages and context that many quotations leave out. The one that led me to this site was the one on "We do not really want a religion that is right where we are right. What we want is a religion that is right where we are wrong." Anyways, keep up what you are doing! Love it!


Mike said...

Thanks! :-)