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, October 21, 2013

"A nation that has nothing but its amusements will not be amused for very long."

Thus, the Canterbury Pilgrimage [of Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales] takes on a very symbolic social character, and is indeed the progress which emerged out of the medieval into the modern world. All modern critics can take pleasure in the almost modern realism of the portraiture; in the variety of the types and the vigour of the quarrels. But the modern problem is more and more the problem of keeping the company together at all; and the company was kept together because it was going to Canterbury. It will be another business, if the variety of companions discovers a variety of aims....For the moment, this division of heart is masked by a certain heartiness, in the modern pursuit of mere games and pleasure; but you cannot make a complete social system out of games and pleasures. You cannot, in some dark hour of peril, ask thousands to die for the Derby, or even to be taxed to death for the International Golf Championship. A nation that has nothing but its amusements will not be amused for very long. Moreover, the amusements are at least as narrow as the devotions and dedications....There are many forces making for a superficial sameness in modern life; far too many. There is standardization and the stunts of journalism and the various forms of conscription and coercion rather peculiar to our time....There are many modern forces, commercial or scientific, tending to make men look or talk the same. But the Clerk and the Miller did not look and talk the same. They had nothing in common but their purpose; but they had a purpose. It is very puzzling to look at the real society around us at this moment, and consider whether it has a purpose. For the present, at least, their is no Canterbury in sight for the Canterbury Pilgrims. The coloured cavalcade is halted somewhere in the suburbs and suffering the bewilderment dating from that day, when sectarians and journalists and jerry-builders between them decided that every man should live in the same villa and every man in a different universe.

-Chaucer (1932)


Rafael Dias said...

This blog is amazing.

Thank you all the way from Brazil.

Mike said...

Thanks! :-)