I have FINALLY reconvened reading Chesterton's Heretics, to be followed by Orthodoxy, after a. . .3 year?. . .hiatus caused by too much homework. I'm very excited. Please forgive me, kind giver of this book.
Now, I am going to regale you with quotes.

On Oscar Wilde. . .
"In the fifteenth century men cross-examined and tormented a man because he preached some immoral attitude; in the nineteenth century we feted and flattered Oscar Wilde because he preached such an attitude, and then broke his heart in penal servitude because he carried it out. It may be a question which of the two methods was the more cruel; there can be no kind of question which was the more ludicrous. The age of the Inquisition has not at least the disgrace of having produced a society which made an idol of the very same man for preaching the very same things which it made him a convict for practising."
On the failure of modern "free-spirited" artists to powerfully effect anything, good or bad, compared to those of "less free" and more devout times. . .
"Milton does not merely beat [the modern artistic classes] at his piety, he beats them at their own irreverence. In all their little books of verse you will not find a finer defiance of God than Satan's [in Paradise Lost]. Now will you find the grandeur of paganism felt as taht fiery Christian felt it who described Faranata lifting his head as in disdain of hell. And the reason is very obvious. Blasphemy is an artistic effect, because blasphemy depends upon a philosophical conviction. Blasphemy depends upon belief and is fading with it. If any one doubts this, let him sit down seriously and try to tink blasphemous thoughts about Thor. I think his family will find him at the end of the day in a state of some exhaustion."
(Note: By Thor, he means the Norse god, not the Asgard star on Stargate. . . .Oh, I'm such a nerd.)

And,finally, on honesty. . .
"I wish to deal with my most distinguished contemporaries,not personally or in a merely literary manner, but in relation to the real body of doctrine which they teach. I am not concerned with Mr. Rudyard Kipling as a vivid artist or a vigorous personality; I am concerned with him as a Heretic--that is to say, man whose view of things has the hardihood to differ from mine."
That will be all for now.

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