Wednesday, October 31, 2012

One book

If I could recommend only one book for you to read....well, it would have to be Orthodoxy, by Chesterton. It's deep, but not difficult read; thoughtful, and yet I would laugh out loud reading it. Here's proof that it's so wonderful - but I have so many quotes! I'll choose the shortest and let you discover the rest for yourself.

“People have fallen into a foolish habit of speaking of orthodoxy as something heavy, humdrum, and safe. There never was anything so perilous or so exciting as orthodoxy. It was sanity: and to be sane is more dramatic than to be mad.”

“We do not want joy and anger to neutralize each other and produce a surly contentment; we want a fiercer delight and a fiercer discontent. We have to feel the universe at once as an ogre's castle, to be stormed, and yet as our own cottage, to which we can return to at evening.” 

“If a man would make his world large, he must be always making himself small.”

“Christianity got over the difficulty of combining furious opposites, by keeping them both, and keeping them both furious.” 

“Man is more himself, more manlike, when joy is the fundamental thing and grief superficial.” 

“Reason is itself a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all.”

“It is one thing to describe an interview with a gorgon or a griffin, a creature who does not exist. It is another thing to discover that the rhinoceros does exist and then take pleasure in the fact that he looks as if he didn't.” 

“In the fairy tale, an incomprehensible happiness rests upon an incomprehensible condition. A box is opened and all evils fly out. A word is forgotten and cities perish. A lamp is lit and love flies away. An apple is eaten and the hope of God is gone.”

“The materialist is sure that history has been simply and solely a chain of causation, just as the [lunatic] is quite sure that he is simply and solely a chicken. Materialists and madmen never have doubts.”

“He must not merely cling to life, for then he will be a coward, and will not escape. He must not merely wait for death, for then he will be a suicide, and will not escape. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water and yet drink death like wine. ” 

“Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about.”

“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.”

See what I mean?! Which is your favorite? There's one more I really like, but I'll save it for a rainy day.


  1. I like this quote especially: “Reason is itself a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all.”
    I'm going to put Orthodoxy on my shelf of books i'm reading.

  2. I really like the quotes Hannah!
    i love you!