Enjoy these delicious, bite-sized bon-bons from one of the most prolific writers from the 20th Century, Gilbert Keith Chesterton.
Or watch my TV interview on this great thinker: G.K. Chesterton interview.
And, if you’re interested in attending our most delightful local Celebrations of Chesterton this side of heaven, check out the Louisiana Chesterton Celebrations page.
We have a monthly newsletter if you’d like to sign up…
- On Dickens
- On Children
- On Home
- On Government
- On Heaven
Today others are bringing Chesterton back from the dead, so to speak, and for good reason. Everything he wrote about points to things going on in our world. Chesterton, like Dickens before him, wrote about something that never changes: human nature.
“Dickens is close to popular religion, which is the ultimate and reliable religion. He conceives an endless joy…He has not come, as a writer, that his creatures may copy life and copy its narrowness; he has come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly.”
“For anyone who makes himself responsible for one small baby, as a whole, will soon find that he is wrestling with gigantic angels and demons.” (Fancies Vs. Fads, Chapter 27) and “Only this Christmas I was told in a toy-shop that not so many bows and arrows were being made for little boys; because they were considered dangerous. It might in some circumstances be dangerous to have a little bow. It is always dangerous to have a little boy.” (Fancies Vs. Fads, Chapter 13)
2. G.K. Chesterton was in awe of babies and claimed that each time one was born it was as if the universe were created for the first time because the world was being seen by a new soul as if it were the first day of creation: a new system of stars, new grass, new cities, a new sea. He also feared that babies would become an endangered species…
“I might inform those humanitarians who have a nightmare of new and needless babies (for some humanitarians have that sort of horror of humanity) that if the recent decline in the birth-rate were continued for a certain time, it might end in there being no babies at all; which would console them very much.”
By the Babe Unborn: “They should not hear a word from me, of selfishness or scorn, If only I could find the door, if only I were born.” CW Collected poetry 10, Part I:197-98
Chesterton on the home: “The place where babies are born, where men die, where the daily drama of mortal life is acted, is not an office or shop or bureau. It is something much smaller in size yet much larger in scope. And while nobody would be such a fool as to pretend that the home is the only place where people should work, or even the only place where women should work, it has a character of unity and universality that is not found in any of the fragmentary experiences of the office or the shop or the bureau.” Illustrated London News, Dec 1926
“An honest man falls in love with an honest woman; he wishes therefore to marry her, to be the father of her children, to secure her and himself. All systems of government should be tested by whether he can do this. If any system- , feudal, servile, or barbaric does in fact, give him so large a cabbage field that he can do it, there is the essence of liberty and justice. If any system – , republican, mercantile or Eugenist, does in fact give him so small a salary that he can’t do it, there is the essence of eternal tyranny and shame.” Illustrated London News, March 25, 1911.
“The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.”― Orthodoxy
- On Wonder
- On Toy Theatres
- On Art
- On Pantheism
“Art, like morality consists of drawing the lines somewhere.” Illustrated London News, July 3, 1929
“You never work so well for art’s sake as when you are working for something else.” Daily News, June 25, 1904.
“Philosophy is always present in a work of art.” Illustrated London News, Jun 15, 1929.
(And my personal favorite…) “An art school is a place where about three people work with feverish energy and everybody else idles to a degree that I should have conceived unattainable by human nature.” Autobiography, CW16:94.