Trevin Wax interviews Kevin Belmonte, the author of A Year with G. K. Chesterton: 365 Days of Wisdom, Wit, and Wonder, a collection of quotations from one of the most quotable persons ever. And he was a Christian, a writer of Christian apologetics, an author of mystery stories, a speaker and debater, a poet, a humorist, and much more. A friend possesses a book that contains a transcription of debates between Chesterton and George Bernard Shaw — great stuff, they were diametrically opposed on religion and politics but still great friends. I just ordered the Kindle edition of Belmonte's book — it has already downloaded and I look forward to dipping in.
The interview produced several Chesterton quotations, from which:
- No man knows how much he is an optimist, even when he calls himself a pessimist, because he has not really measured the depths of his debt to whatever created him and enabled him to call himself anything. At the back of our brains, so to speak, there was a forgotten blaze or burst of astonishment at our own existence. The object of the artistic and spiritual life was to dig for this submerged sunrise of wonder; so that a man sitting in a chair might suddenly understand that he was actually alive, and be happy. (Autobiography)
- I had always vaguely felt facts to be miracles in the sense that they are wonderful: now I began to think them miracles in the stricter sense that they were wilful. I mean that they were, or might be, repeated exercises of some will.In short, I had always believed that the world involved magic: now I thought that perhaps it involved a magician. And this pointed a profound emotion always present and sub-conscious; that this world of ours has some purpose; and if there is a purpose, there is a Person. I had always felt life first as a story: and if there is a story there is a Story-teller. (Orthodoxy)
- Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere.