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, December 23, 2015

"The Man in the Street"

[The Man in the Street] is a myth, perhaps a beautiful myth, but still a myth. This Man in the Street, this being by whose arbitrament politics, literature, and ethics are now tested and decided, is as fabulous as the Hydra; he is a thing that does not exist. My friend the Pessimist, to whom I have alluded in a previous article, and who is naturally disposed to take a somewhat gloomy view of things, declares that the Man in the Street does exist. But then my friend the Pessimist does not exist himself, so, he cannot be held to be a sound judge of all the niceties of the question, and may even be considered as having a certain bias. The essential proof that the Man in the Street does not exist is very simple. No one ever met anyone who believed himself to be the Man in the Street. No one ever met anyone who believed anyone else whom he knew intimately to be the Man in the Street. The sage who goes on the hopeless hunt after the average man will be endlessly disappointed as his researches exhibit endless variety and individuality. It will be more and more discovered that the Man in the Street only happens to be in the street, just as we happen to be in the street. Beyond that he resolves himself variously into the Man in the Cathedral, the Man in the Public-House, the Man in the National Gallery, the Man in the Penitentiary, the Man in the Fabian Society, the Man in the Divorce Court, the Man in Khaki- and the Man in Holy Orders. Among all the millions whom we summarise as men in the street there is not one who bears the least resemblance to any other man the moment we really understand his private memories, hopes, and conceptions. If we had to advise one man in the street how he should conduct himself in a definite crisis towards definite persons, our advice would be quite different to that which we should offer to another man in the street. No doubt there is a common human basis for all these men, but that common human basis includes the cultivated and exceptional quite as much as it includes these people. The dilemma, therefore, is simply this: either there is no such thing as the Man in the Street or else Maeterlinck is the Man in the Street and Mr. W. B. Yeats is the Man in the Street.
-April 12, 1902, The Speaker

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