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)

Monday, January 23, 2012

"Whence came this extraordinary idea that laughing at a thing is hostile?"

To jeer at a child is contemptible...But to laugh at a child is simply the natural thing to do and a great compliment. Whence came this extraordinary idea that laughing at a thing is hostile? Friends laugh at each other, lovers laugh at each other, all people who love each other laugh at each other. If Mrs. Stetson Gilman can by any possibility help laughing at a child the moment he puts his preposterous nose into the door, she has a different sense of humour from ourselves. Does not Mrs. Gilman see that to suppress so essential a sentiment, to treat a baby painting his nose blue with portentous silence and solemnity is to create an atmosphere far more false, a cloud of lies a hundred times thicker, than all the conventions against which she protests? The lovable grotesqueness of children is a part of their essential poetry, it symbolises the foolish freshness of life itself, it goes down to the mysterious heart of man; the heart out of which came elves and fairies and gnomes. So far from wishing that children should be treated with the ridiculous and pompous gravity with which civilised men treat each other, we ourselves wish that civilised men were treated as children are, that their blundering utterances were always laughed at in kindness, that their futile amusements were relished as quaint and graceful instead of vulgar and eccentric, that their sins were punished without morbid exaggeration and their whole life frankly admitted to be a stumbling and groping and stammering after better things. If a stockbroker were gaily patted on the head when he had made a million, perhaps he would think less of his triumph; if a poet only had his hair pulled affectionately when he cursed God, it is probable that he would not do it again.

-March 9, 1901, The Speaker

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