Sunday, May 29, 2011

29 May -- It's Mr Chesterton's Birthday

He was born on this date in 1874, so if he were alive today he would be, um, four from eleven is seven, seven from ten is three, um, 137.

Or so.

You can find out all sorts of things about GK from the American Chesterton Society, which has something very like a blog here. You can find out about Gilbert magazine (it used to be Gilbert! magazine but somewhere along the line someone thought better of the exclamation point), the ACS, and all sorts of things about the man himself.

From the GKC quote file:

By a curious confusion, many modern critics have passed from the proposition that a masterpiece may be unpopular to the other proposition that unless it is unpopular it cannot be a masterpiece.

To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.

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.

Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere.

An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. . . .

Now, I like that picture at the top. It looks rather elegant. But he looks rather grumpy, too, and grumpy is not GK. Let's wind up the birthday post with a photo that might look more like the man who wrote

"Feast on wine or fast on water,
And your honour shall stand sure,
God Almighty's son and daughter,
He the valiant, she the pure;
If an angel out of Heaven
Brings you other things to drink,
Thank him for his kind attentions,
Go and pour them dawn the sink! "