We all know I like to introduce Catholics to Catholic writers

With tomorrow, Deo volente, being the scene of a long conversation on justification and sanctification, under the auspices (most likely) of people like the good Aquinas, have a quote from Chesterton’s essay on Thomas Carlyle:

“A great deal is said in these days about the value or valuelessness of logic. In the main, indeed, logic is not a productive tool so much as a weapon for defence. A man building up an intellectual system has to build like Nehemiah, with the sword in one hand and the trowel in the other. The imagination, the constructive quality, is the trowel, and argument is the sword. A wide experience of actual intellectual affairs will lead most people to the conclusion that logic is mainly valuable as a weapon wherewith to exterminate logicians.”

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August Wrap-up

Writing:

Went by fits and starts. I finished Camp NaNo and almost immediately ran into a problem with Of the North, a huge problem in fact, and so I stopped writing words to think about the words I had written and how well they’d fit with what I might or might not end up writing. It goes like that sometimes.

How did my summer plans end up, you ask?

Well, I did write a novella for the Rooglewood contest. It’s more of a novelette at the moment, and I need to get beta-readers arranged and send in my form to the contest and all that, but it exists in some form outside of myself now.

I finished sending out Wind Age in that I decided to stop on that one and let it wait. It had too many problems. Maybe in a few years.

I have not finished rewriting Of the North. I still cherish hopes of getting to Realm Makers next year — we shall see. But I did get about 52,000 words done in it, and I’m still working through the implications of AEschild being Catholic, so the progress of the word count has paused.

Reading:

Um. Well, Liturgy, Architecture, and Sacred Places in Anglo-Saxon England, by Helen Gittos (partway through the second reading of that). It’s good.

And several mysteries about Flavia de Luce, recommended by a family friend. They’re nothing to Chesterton or even Doyle, but on evenings when I was tired they weren’t too bad. Well, except for the fact that the MC is always taking revenge on family members and that’s not portrayed as wrong, and she’s constantly lying and that’s never portrayed as wrong, and that the authour is good enough at writing that the girl is still likeable. Grrr.

And, because I’ve been talking to Catholics lately, Orthodoxy for the thousandth time.

Also some of Jonathan Edwards, because my American Literature class can be tiresome; the Odyssey, for the Greek Myth and Literature class, and things like the first chapters of Joshua for Historiography. And I will be reading some of the City of God and Bede and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for that last class!

SCA:

Our local group had a dance practice about halfway through the month, and then on Saturday Wynnie and I day-tripped Hadrian’s Feld again. I’ve tried to write about the day, but you see, right smack in the middle of it we had a two-hour-long conversation with — you may have guessed — a Catholic.

Now when you sit down to have lunch, and you’re an 11th-century Anglo-Saxon, and the gentle across from you is 11th-century Norman, and you not only manage to avoid politics, but discuss the philosophy and theology of such anachronistic figures as Sir Thomas More, Thomas Aquinas, G. K. Chesterton, C. S. Lewis, Tolkien, and others, throwing in the separation of church and state, the problem of evil, free will versus determinism — and when the whole thing started off with a comment about Intelligent Design — well, it not only colours everything that came after, but makes it hard to tell a single story, not mixing worlds. I have a world where I debate religion, increasingly with Catholics, and another world where I’m known as AEschild. I’ve never before found myself plying distaff and spindle while explaining that the Baptist Catechism says that “God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in His being, wisdom, power, justice, holiness, goodness, and truth.”

So I doubt I’ll post the story here. But highlights of the day included His Majesty being beaten in single combat, our cheddar getting smoked by sitting downwind from someone else’s cooking fire all afternoon, a newcomer to our group having lots of fun, our forming group’s minister of Arts and Sciences getting his Award of Arms, me greeting a friend by accidentally punching him in the stomach, and that same friend later having to run from a group of children while carrying a toy chest.

Summer goals in this area: I did take out the gores in my green cyrtel and re-do them, and it fits much better now, and I’ve talked about it. I haven’t done any new projects unless you count spinning, which I just remembered it’s too late to send a picture of to Cailin to put in his Arts and Sciences report. . . . bother. I used all the undyed roving and started on the silver, which is very nice.

Life:

My cat had a fight with another cat in the middle of the night one Sunday, and was limping badly on the Monday morning — the other had bit his left front leg, so of course swelling and such accompanied deep puncture wounds. We took him to the vet and he spent a long time shut in the basement bathroom. When we could work around the inside cat, who hates him, we’d bring him upstairs for sunshine and a change of view, or I’d go sit in the shower with him and bring something to work on. I spent a lot of time reading Gaudy Night or working on Rose-Tinted Arrows that way (still not a lot to show for that last bit, though. . . but plans for a prequel novel, or as they like to call it, “prelude”, are in the works).

It’s all very nice to talk about cats, you say, but what about the thing that just sent you missing for more than a week?

Oh right. School.

Well, between the two history classes, the two literature classes, and the poetry workshop, I’ll have a lot of writing to do. I figure if I can do a paper a weekend I should be able to keep up. First paper, for Early Europe: “Judging from the selections from the Hebrew Bible, why was Saul made king, and why did he ultimately fail?”

(And when you’ve got a teacher who explains the advantages of a certain Protestant translation of the Bible and then adds, “Oh, and there are some Catholic ones too”, and who comes into class saying “Tempus fugit!” it’s going to be fun.)

In the mean while, I haven’t been eating lunch alone. That’s a new experience: all my other days at school, to this point, I’ve eaten my lunch on the bench outside the library, watching people go by. I ate once with Jenny, in the very noisy Food Court, but that’s all I can think of. But this semester, one of our friends from orchestra, a Catholic, and a friend of his who’s new to me, ditto, and I have all been getting together to discuss Tolkien, Chesterton, creation versus theistic evolution, the many problems with being public-schooled, the equally numerous problems with Communism, being pro-life, Sola Scriptura versus the papacy (we haven’t got around to the Babylonian Captivity — yet), transubstantiation, justification, baptism, organs, external (briefly), Aquinas, Augustine, et cetera. So that’s been exciting and like adding another three-credit class to my load. I’m working at the Writing Center, an hour and a half on Wednesdays, and may get another on-campus job — not sharing details unless I do get it — and, of course, homework.

And maybe once in a while I’ll get to work on a story.

I did take the online summer class and got out of it with a B; and the summer reading group went fairly well, I think; and I kept up on blogging until last week. So I think I tidied up my summer plans pretty neatly, for the most part, if you ignore Wind Age.

Posted in Books, History, Of the North, Ordinary life, Reading, Rose-Tinted Arrows, SCA, Wind Age, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

“A facility for quotation covers the absence of original thought.”

Monday was a confused muddle; Tuesday went much better except that one of my classes was canceled; today’s American Literature was a politically-correct disaster, and I got to talk to one of our Catholic friends about baptism, and a teacher’s gone missing. Last night my sister’s rabbit bit through my computer cord, while it was plugged in — fortunately he’s still alive, but I won’t have a working cord for a week. So posts may be a bit erratic while I get used to school again, including the series on medieval clothes, sorry.

I’ve been reading Gaudy Night, too, and so by contrast American colleges are even more disappointing than usual. Oh for a place where more than two teachers have good standards! Where people wear medieval-looking robes instead of. . . what they do wear. Where we have British slang such as “quad”. I guess what I’m looking for is a bit more Romance than this place offers — a setting for a nice academic adventure complete with research on obscure topics like the disappearance of the seax after the Norman Conquest and one, moreover, where doing that kind of thing isn’t weird. And I want to do some story writing, but I don’t like doing private stuff on a college computer where anyone can walk behind you and see what you’re doing.

The teacher of my Early Europe and Historiography classes canceled the first two days because of recovering from a medical procedure. He hasn’t been seen yet today, which everyone says is most unusual for him.

The teacher of the Form Poetry Workshop and the Greek Myth and Literature class is on her last semester, which is a pity, because she’s a good teacher. One of the students in the Greek class knew that mead is the oldest known alcoholic drink, and seems likely to be the A student, and seems also to be a nice guy generally (if none of those statements seem to go together — the mead thing isn’t widely known, and knowledge of the fact doesn’t necessitate that you’ve tasted it). Another student in that class, on the other hand, said silly things about Baptists and Catholics, and went on talking when I started to correct him. If people have got to say bad things about us (and the Catholics), there’s a wide range of true things to pick from — no need to go making things up.

And the American Literature class, as I said, is a politically-correct disaster. Brings one back to one’s old MNWest days (for those of you who haven’t heard me complaining about them in real life, that’s the community college I was at for a year, before abandoning it in some disgust). Maybe it will get better once we get past the “Native American oral literature” section.

My hours at the Writing Center (as a tutor) are down from 2.5 per week to 1.5 — nothing personal, just lack of funds and too many people. So that may mean more free time for writing and such this semester.

Till later, then!

 

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Introducing Clothes, not Costume

Sometimes I try to read historical fiction, because if you write in that genre that’s what you’re supposed to do, and growl at all the things that show authours haven’t done their research.

Who am I to tell people what they’re doing wrong (or right)? Some of these authours have published several books or even been praised for their research and re-creating an authentic “feel”. (I won’t name names.) I’ve never published any of mine, unless you count this blog — certainly no experts have looked at my work and pronounced judgement.

I have done research, a fair bit in the American Civil War era, a few years ago, but most of it concentrated on the Anglo-Saxon era, as you know. Being in the SCA, where we have so many places and centuries at once, I’ve picked up a thing or two about other centuries as well. As I know most about the eleventh century, that’s probably what I’ll talk most about. I don’t know all there is to know about, say, 14th-century English garb, but I’ve done enough research to notice when people haven’t done any.

My own forays into making my own garb, by hand, without the use of a machine, have taught me more about the practical ways of making things (and common mistakes). I’ve learned how much value a yard of fabric really has, why wool is not a horrible thing next to the skin, and what cutting an edge on the bias really does to your seam.

I have worn the clothes I’ve made, sometimes spending a whole day in them, so I know how they feel, and what they need to fit, and how heavy good wool can be (and how comfortable), and what it’s like to wear clothes, not costume.

I have observed certain things about what clothes say about their wearers.

Most people, in most times and places, have worn clothes. Up until very recently, clothes weren’t widely available from stores, let alone made by machines, which meant that people usually made their own. Now if most people make their own clothes, some of their personality tends to creep in despite the dictates of fashion — you go to all the trouble of making it, so you might as well make something you like, right? And for the few who hire people to make their clothes for them, that shows what you can afford, which is money.

This was going to be all one post, but it got a bit long, so this will introduce a series of posts on Clothes (not Costume) in Historical Fiction. Some of the things I’ll mention (the great Belt controversy) are peculiar, as far as I know, to the Anglo-Saxon era, but the principles go for all eras until the sewing machine.

Hopefully the gentlemen who read my blog aren’t bored out of their minds. I didn’t often find myself talking about clothes until I got into the SCA and found out that making them could be fun, and now, it seems, I haven’t stopped talking.

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Off to Sherwood Forest

I haven’t talked much about Rose-Tinted Arrows here in a while. I haven’t actually worked on it in a long time — I’ve collected notes, but haven’t written anything new, nor gotten up the courage to tear apart the old writing. (And my style has changed a lot since then.)

But with Of the North on hiatus for a bit while I figure out some important changes, I found myself with no pressing writing project, so I took out R-TA to play with again. As I’ve said here before, it’s not a story for publication, just one I can have fun with and play around in. It’s such a weird genre — very fantastical, but set in something that’s got to be our own world, only people who live in a vaguely late-medieval-Renascence period quote movies. And being that it’s so Robin-Hoody (still without being a retelling of Robin Hood), the merry men are merry, but it has a serious theme. I don’t know what genre it is, let alone who would publish it.

And not having a goal of that sort for it lets me play in it without worrying about genre conventions or anything of what people might think of it. So there are some major plot holes lurking rather obviously, and some people have unclear motivations, and the villains swap shifts between halves, but the worst thing is that the past me didn’t know a thing about theme, and consequently, it gets rather preachy in places.

So today, being home alone, with no Of the North gnawing at me, just a hole in my day, I finally got to work taking out the preachy bits. Which meant I actually did more re-reading than anything, to get a sense of the story as a whole, and its general flow. (And fell in love with my guys all over again.) It was good to rip out some especially annoying things, though, with the promise of more to tackle tomorrow. And the pressure to get it just right isn’t so high, but I know that with R-TA in its present state, pretty much anything will be an improvement. There’s a lot more telling than there should be, and too many adjectives to tell you how people did things.

And the aforementioned plot and motive problems. But I’ll get to them in time. I also rediscovered old favourite lines, such as this:

  Rose was on her knees packing all her clothes into a box. Outside, the hall was full of men’s footsteps as they hurried back and forth, sorting their own belongings. Jests and laughter filled the air.

  Turning from the bed to pull out her dresser, she saw a masked face level with her eyes, and leapt backwards, almost screaming.

  “Got you, Mama!” Robin cried, pulling the mask off. Rose recognized her son and recovered herself.

  “What were you scaring me like that for?” she demanded.

  “Looky what I found,” Robin said, holding out the mask. “What is it?”

  “It’s a mask, to go on your face so your mother doesn’t know you, so you scare her.”

  “Really?”

  “Well, sort of. Where’d you find it?” Rose took the mask and turned it over in her hands.

  “Dad and I were going through one of the storerooms. Whose was it?”

  “It was your father’s. I didn’t know he’d kept it. He’d never admit to such sentimentality.”

  “I bet he liked wearing it.”

  “Yes, yes, he did.”

  “What did he wear it for?”

  Rose hesitated, but Will burst through the door just then and squatted on the floor beside Robin, saving her from having to answer.

  “Will, see what I found?” Robin said, pointing to the mask in Rose’s hands.

  “Oho!” said Will, taking it and holding it up in front of his face. “This wasn’t mine.” He carefully plucked an eyelash and then tied it on. “How’s that look, young fellow?”

  Robin clapped. “You look funny. You don’t look like you.”

  “Yup, that’s the point ––”

  “Well, well, well, what have we here?” Algernon appeared in the doorway. “What is going on?”

  Will swiveled around to look up at the Captain. “Recognize this?”

  Algernon looked embarrassed. “Nope.”

  “Mama says it was yours,” Robin said.

And there’s a quote I found in an essay of Chesterton’s, on Lord Byron of all people, which went very well for Rose-Tinted Arrows (being, as it is, a very swashbuckly sort of story).

“When a young man can elect deliberately to walk alone in winter by the side of the shattering sea, when he takes pleasure in storms and stricken peaks, and the lawless melancholy of the older earth, we may deduce with the certainty of logic that he is very young and very happy. There is a certain darkness which we see in wine when seen in shadow; we see it again in the night that has just buried a gorgeous sunset. The wine seems black, and yet at the same time powerfully and almost impossibly red; the sky seems black, and yet at the same time to be only too dense a blend of purple and green. . . . Darkness with them was only too dense a purple. They would prefer the sullen hostility of the earth because amid all the cold and darkness their own hearts were flaming like their own firesides.”

That’s all for today — I got back from the Black Forest rather late.

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When writing doesn’t look like writing

My dad comes home from work and tells us what he did all day (he works in IT, so it’s clearing up problems on stuff he knows is going to be obsolete in another three years at most. Very fulfilling work with the knowledge of a lasting legacy it is not). My mother tells him how she’d been cooking all day: granola, bread, quiche, other things I’ve forgotten. My sister shows off her four completed costumes folded all nicely on the table, our contributions to a friend’s production of Romeo and Juliet.

My dad looks at me and says, “And what did you do today?”

“I wrote about sheep.”

It’s not the kind of work you can stack up like the costumes, since it’s at the document-on-computer stage right now. And even if I could, it takes several hundred pages to equal the height of the costume stack. It would be at least 150 sheets of paper to be as thick as the bread my mother made (at a very conservative estimate). Were I to be stranded on a desert island, by the time I actually noticed that fact, I’d want the bread-making skill more than the writing one if I were to survive. (Well, maybe.)

There are days where I can say, casually, “Oh, I wrote five thousand words today,” and go on eating like that’s just normal. Or I can write fifty thousand words in a month and my dad admiringly says that’s more words than in the dissertation which took him a year (it was only a year, at that point) to write.

Then there’s the days where I just wrote about sheep.

Not that it’s bad to write about sheep. I haven’t been around sheep nearly as much as, say, chickens or cats or spiders, so a lot of what I know about them comes from reading what other people have written. But it sounds so much more impressive to say “I made four sets of wearable clothes today!” and even “I wrote the climax of a high fantasy novel in which the hero and heroine finally get married!” is better.

And even “Today I wrote a thousand words” (judiciously leaving out the “about sheep” bit) sounds better than, “Well, I sort of stared at the same page in a library book and twiddled a pencil” which is what I’ve found myself doing more than once today.

Writing is weird that way — maybe other forms of art are too, and I just don’t know because I don’t practice them — but not everything that falls in the category of “writing” looks much like writing. Or, not all your writing has to do with word count.

During NaNo, we measure progress by word count. That makes sense, because the goal of NaNo is getting a rough draft out so we can mess with it later. But when you’re doing a second or third or seventeenth draft, the goal is different. The goal is taking what is there and making it better, which sometimes means adding to it, and polishing it generally. You’re taking the sand you shoveled up during NaNo, as it were, and making a sand castle.

There’s research to do. That involves checking out books with titles like Liturgy, Architecture, and Sacred Places in Anglo-Saxon England — checking them out because you can’t afford to buy them — or Googling things like “How long does it take to die from a stab wound in the lung” (which my friend Hope likes to do). Reading does not increase your word count, but it does help you write knowledgeably, and may I say, good research is essential for good historical fiction.

There’s re-reading what you’ve already written, and marking it up with things to change, double-check, delete, and once in a while, a spot that’s good enough to keep. This can take a long time and, unless you print your story out to look at it, doesn’t look like anything at all, much less writing. (That’s one of the things about writing — to someone who’s not a writer, it doesn’t look like much.)

There’s those lovely times in the shower, when you’re getting ideas right and left and rearranging them in your head and seeing how they fit together and miraculously solving every plot problem you ever had all at once (until, tomorrow morning, your solution turns out to have opened a giant hole as big as all the ones it fixed together). Normally people don’t have a writing instrument to hand while they’re in the bath, but if it weren’t for the getting-ideas stage, you’d never have anything to write down.

Making outlines occasionally involves writing things down, but if you’ve been working on one all day and only have 700 words to show for it, it doesn’t look nearly as important as it is.

Then there’s the days where you stare at the same page in a library book and play with a pencil. Inside, of course, you may be wrestling with moral dilemmas, figuring out your main antagonist’s motives, deciding which of three situations is the best in which to introduce the main character’s best friend, trying to figure out just exactly why a certain statement is so out of character for the person saying it, killing dragons, riding dragons, talking to a character who wishes he could ride dragons, or pretty much anything. You may look like you’re in your bedroom, or living room, or attic, or kitchen (not a safe place to be if you’re in this mood, however), but as a matter of fact you’re in another world. (Don’t drive while in this mood, either.) You look like you’re just lazily sitting around all day doing nothing, but you’re really debating: does X mean I’m in danger of saying Catholicism hasn’t changed at all in the last thousand years (when I know this not to be true), and what does that do with the main character’s arc in the second half of the story?

The word count in your document may not have gone up since yesterday, but that doesn’t by itself mean you wasted the day. Now if you had time to write, and knew what to write, and knew you should write, and decided to do something else just because you didn’t feel like writing, that would be laziness. Time is always running out, and our lives fill up with enough other stuff that when we get a chance to do what we know is our vocation, we’d better do it.

But taking a day off to read a good book might not be laziness. Reading good books helps you write good books (and even the occasional bad book can help you learn what not to do faster than you might learn by just trying things). Spending time with your family is a good thing, or so I hear. Sometimes you do need to take a break, because you’ve emptied out your well of ideas and creativity, so doing something with your hands, or going on a really long walk, is better than trying to force onto the page what you haven’t got.

Each of these states is necessary to making good books. Trying to skip them in favour of writing a certain number of words every day will only result in poor quality. Perhaps you’re not at a stage where you can write a lot of new words every day — maybe that would be bad for the story if you rushed ahead without thinking things through first. And then things get messy, and if anyone will take such a rushed rough draft for publication, it makes a lot of extra work for the kitchen maids! (I mean editors.)

 

Posted in Books, Fiction, Historical fiction, Research, Revision, Writing | Tagged , | 16 Comments

Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.

I didn’t post on Saturday, as the astute among you will have perceived. For some reason it slipped my mind until it was too late.

I reached 51,500 words in Of the North! I estimate about 30,000 to go. It’s all downhill from here. I have to deepen a couple of friendships, set up a couple of romances, make sure my numerous side characters aren’t neglected, write the ending. . . I’m also getting into the part where there’s more politics involved. Why is it that politics from a thousand years ago, many times more deadly than the ones we’re involved in today, get to be so much more fun?

Anyway, this post is going to mostly be Chesterton. I picked up a couple of books of his essays Sunday evening, which, of course, meant I was tearing up my tissue for bookmarks.

“But surely the idea that its leaves are the chief grace of a tree is a vulgar one, on a par with the idea that his hair is the chief grace of a pianist. When winter, that healthy ascetic, carries his gigantic razor over hill and valley, and shaves all the trees like monks, we feel surely that they are all the more like trees if they are shorn, just as so many painters and musicians would be all the more like men if they were less like mops.” (“A Defence of Skeletons”)

From an essay which also found its way into Heretics (the rest of the paragraph is well worth reading, and might just possibly rank among my favourite bits of Chesterton, though it’s too long to quote in full in the middle of a conversation): “With the adequate brain-power we could finish any scientific discovery, and be certain that we are finishing it right. But not with the most gigantic intellect could we finish the simplest or silliest story, and be certain that we were finishing it right. That is because a story has behind it, not merely intellect which is partly mechanical, but will, which is in its essence divine. The narrative writer can send his hero to the gallows if he likes in the last chapter but one. He can do it by the same divine caprice whereby he, the authour, can go to the gallows himself, and to hell afterwards if he chooses. And the same civilization, the chivalric European civilization which asserted freewill in the thirteenth century, produced the thing called ‘fiction’ in the eighteenth. When Thomas Aquinas asserted the spiritual liberty of man, he created all the bad novels in the circulating libraries.” (“On Certain Modern Writers”)

His essay “Woman”, first published in All Things Considered, is a really good one, but I can’t reproduce it here. So are “A Piece of Chalk” and “What I Found in My Pocket”. You can probably find them online somewhere.

The next book has an interesting story. We bought it secondhand, possibly off Amazon, and the dust jacket bears witness to its having an adventurous life. Inside the front cover was, and still is, a bookmark — not an ordinary bookmark, though. Its an advertisement. A very British advertisement. “Witherby: Services to the City” it says, and “A very wide range of Sundry Stationery, Paper, Envelopes, Files, Account Books, Office Furniture”, and things like “Specialist printers to The Insurance industry”.  So its former owner, we can induce, was probably British, and caught up random things to mark spots with, and left them in the book. Because all good bookworms know to leave a bookmark, or something that will work for one, in the front of a book for next time.

“Eulogy of Robin Hood” and “The Great Translation” are good ones. (Not that none of the rest are, these just stood out.) The latter is actually him, a Catholic, saying how good the King James version (a very Protestant translation) is. “The Words of Strong Poetry” is another good one.

“The thing I mean by riches is something more subtle even than happiness. These peasants live a hard life; they probably on occasion live a hungry life; they are quite capable in some circumstances of living a gross or ferocious life. But they do, in a very deep sense, live a full life. And that is where the very atmosphere of the book differs from that of Hardy or of many striking and valuable books upon the same theme: books that have, indeed, found grandeur and even beauty in such a primitive existence, but have found only the beauty of bare rocks or the grandeur of the desert.”

“But there is in Hardy’s work, as in all work really belonging to a pagan world, this character: that all the light is shining on things and not through them. It is all the difference between the gaiety of an old pagan painting or mosaic and the burning clarity of a medieval window. And we do sometimes feel, in mere poverty, as in medieval austerity, that things may be bright by being transparent and transparent by being thin.” (Both of these are from “The Countrymen of Mary Webb and Thomas Hardy”.)

“The man who says he would sooner die is best answered by a sudden blow with the poker, for the reply is rightly logical, as well as physically very effective.”

“For this blending of men and women, nations and nations, is truly a return to the chaos and unconsciousness that were before the world was made. There is, of course, another kind of unity of which I do not speak here; unity in the possession of truth and the perception of the need for these varieties. But the varieties themselves; the reflection of man and woman in each other, as in two distinct mirrors; the wonder of man at nature as a strange thing at once above and below him; the quaint and solitary kingdom of childhood; the local affections and the colour of certain landscapes — these actually are the things that make the grace and honour of the earth; these are the things that make life worth living and the whole framework of things well worthy to be sustained. . . . While a few prigs on platforms are talking about ‘oneness’ and absorption in ‘The All’, the folk that dwell in all the valleys of this ancient earth are renewing the varieties forever. With them a woman is loved for being unmanly, and a man loved for being unwomanly. With them the church and the home are both beautiful, because they are both different; with them fields are personal and flags are sacred; they are the virtue of existence, for they are not mankind but men.” (“What is Right with the World”)

Readers, what’s your favourite Chesterton quote? (I’m assuming you have one. . . I wonder, do I have any readers who aren’t already familiar with Chesterton?)

Posted in Books, Non-fiction, Reading | Tagged , | 4 Comments