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.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

"I remember reading G.K. Chesterton...." -Mike Piazza

Mike Piazza, this past year inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame, and who holds the record for most career home runs by a catcher, reads GKC. :-)
Piazza credits his mother with giving him the gift of faith that has carried him throughout his life.

“My mother was such an influence on me,” he explained. “When I was in minor league baseball, there were times before the internet when we’d have to find churches in the Yellow Pages and look for Mass times, and I’d grab a friend on Sunday and go to Mass. If we had a day game, we’d to Mass Sunday evening.

 “I find it’s easy to talk about faith when it’s true and that’s how it’s been in my life. I know it’s a different time today, but I have no worries. I remember reading (Catholic philosopher and apologist) G.K. Chesterton and there was this whole movement of Atheism in the ‘20s and ‘30s. I mean, it comes and goes. But the rock that is the Church will always be there. So I feel confident. I’m parking my car here.”

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The only real object of all education is to teach people the proportion of things, that they may see what things are large and what small; we seem bent on teaching to prefer in everything what is small to what is great, what is doubtful to what is certain, and what is trivial to what is eternal.
-August 24, 1912, Illustrated London News

Sunday, January 15, 2017

From a letter by Stephen Vincent Benét to William Rose Benét (January 15, 1915)
Magic [a play by Chesterton] is fine too. The place where the red light turns blue is a great moment, great, GREAT. There certainly are devils.
-Selected Letters of Steven Vincent Benét, p. 9

[I know nothing about  Benét, but a quick trip to Google informs me that a short story he wrote was the basis for the musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.]

Friday, January 13, 2017

"To be dogmatic and to be egotistic are not only not the same thing, they are opposite things."

To be dogmatic and to be egotistic are not only not the same thing, they are opposite things. Suppose, for instance, that a vague sceptic eventually joins the Catholic Church. In that act he has at the same moment become less egotistic and become more dogmatic. The dogmatist is by the nature of the case not egotistical, because he believes that there is some solid obvious and objective truth outside him which he has perceived and which he invites all men to perceive. And the egotist is in the majority of cases not dogmatic, because he has no need to isolate one of his notions as being related to truth; all his notions are equally interesting because they are related to him. The true egotist is as much interested in his own errors as in his own truth; the dogmatist is interested only in the truth, and only in the truth because it is true. At the most the dogmatist believes that he is in the truth; but the egotist believes that the truth, if there is such a thing, is in him.
-A Handful of Authors
(collection of essays published posthumously in 1953)

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Some men say that Science says this or that; when they only mean scientists, and do not know or care which scientists.
-November 2, 1929, Illustrated London News

Friday, January 6, 2017

"..a fixed rule is the only protection of ordinary humanity against clever men"...

The whole point is, however, not that our Judges have a personal power, but that the whole world around them, the newspapers, the tone of opinion, encourage them to use it in a very personal way. In our legal method there is too much lawyer and too little law. For we must never forget one fact, which we tend to forget nevertheless: that a fixed rule is the only protection of ordinary humanity against clever men- who are the natural enemies of humanity. A dogma is the only safeguard of democracy. The law is our only barrier against lawyers.
-September 22, 1906, Illustrated London News

Saturday, December 31, 2016

I generally make my New Year resolutions somewhere towards the end of May, for I belong to that higher order of beings who not only forget to keep promises, but forget even to make them. Besides, my birthday is somewhere about then; and I like to be born again at the time I was born.
-January 11, 1913, Daily News

Thursday, December 29, 2016

"The king was whipped in the cathedral, a performance which I recommend to those who regret the unpopularity of church-going."

When four knights scattered the blood and brains of St. Thomas of Canterbury, it was not only as sign of anger but a sort of black admiration. They wished for his blood, but the wished even more for his brains. Such a blow will remain forever unintelligible unless we realize what the brains of St. Thomas were thinking about just before they were distributed over the floor. They were thinking about the great mediaval conception that the church is the judge of the world. Becket objected to a priest being tried even by the Lord Chief Justice. And his reason was simple: because the Lord Chief Justice was being tried by the priest. The judiciary was itself sub judice. The kings were themselves in the dock. The idea was to create an invisible kingdom, without armies or prisons, but with complete freedom to condemn publicly all the kingdoms of the earth. Whether such a supreme church would have cured society we cannot affirm definitely; because the church was never a supreme church. We only know that in England at any rate the princes conquered the saints. What the world wanted we see before us; and some of us call it a failure. But we cannot call what the church wanted a failure, simply because the church failed. Tracy struck a little too soon. England had not yet made the great Protestant discovery that the king can do no wrong. The king was whipped in the cathedral, a performance which I recommend to those who regret the unpopularity of church-going. But the discovery was made, and Henry VIII scattered Becket's bones as easily as Tracy has scattered his brains.
What's Wrong With the World (1910)

Monday, December 26, 2016

Nor, for that matter, do I know why [...] the parliamentary enclosure at Westminster is also connected with the first of the martyrs; unless it be because St. Stephen was killed with stones. The stones piled together to make modern political buildings, might perhaps be regarded as a cairn, or heap of missiles, marking the place of the murder of a witness to the truth
-Irish Impressions (1919)

"Many modern writers have rejected every kind of rigid creed upon the ground that such creeds made against the variety and the vivacity of life."

For herein lies the last and not the least important of the defences that must be made for that element of dogma or clear and pugnacious theory which the modern world so largely discourages and dilutes. Many modern writers have rejected every kind of rigid creed upon the ground that such creeds made against the variety and the vivacity of life.

The truth is that it is only in the light of such creeds that we become conscious of any variety or any vivacity at all. If, let us say, I accept a fixed standard of goodness, I can then adopt or discuss the pleasing and stimulating proposition that Caesar Borgia was a good man. If I have no standard of goodness, then I can have no opinion about the matter; Caesar Borgia and I are two entirely distinct and unmeaning facts with no relation to each other; between me and Caesar Borgia there is no tie at all, which is a very sad state of things.

The fixed beliefs of mankind have given us all our own heresies and eccentricities, for they have given us the very terms in which we talk. Even paradox (a word which I seem to have seen somewhere) depends, like every other statement, upon the terms used in it being firm, intelligible, and even orthodox. If a man were really sceptical about everything he would not be able to think paradox or to think anything. He may be trying to prove that black is white; but even to do that he must be certain black is black.
-August 26, 1905, Daily News

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Harry Houdini and GKC

Houdiniphiles know Harry was a big fan of Sherlock Holmes and a friendly rival of Holmes' creator, Arthur Conan Doyle. Less known is Harry's affection for the invisible man of 20th century literature, the writer and philosopher G. K. Chesterton.

Friday, December 16, 2016

"If there is really no justification for dipping into a book [...] it seems really doubtful whether there is any justification for dipping into existence, as we all of us do."

If it is really useless for us to judge of anything in samples (and so the most artistic critics tell us), then, certainly, we are all in a most difficult position. There is that interesting object, the earth, for instance, we cannot see it in its entirety, except by going to the moon and then somewhat obscurely; we see as much of it as we can get hold of. The universe itself cannot show us its unity; we have to judge it in selections. If there is really no justification for dipping into a book, as is the habit of some of us, it seems really doubtful whether there is any justification for dipping into existence, as we all of us do. Whenever and wherever we are born, we are coming into the middle of something; at whatever time we first begin to take notice, we are reading the last chapter of some story first. Once establish the proposition that good things are useless, if they are fragmentary, and all our lives, religion, principles, politics and habits, become useless indeed. For whether they are good or bad, they are all fragmentary.
-G.K.C. as M.C. (1929)