Influence of Romance over Reality

In every age men are always more influenced by romance than by reality. That this is so because real details are so varied and broken, while a widely distributed book is the same for everybody.

G.K. Chesterton in the Illustrated London News, November 4, 1905

From 1905 until his death in 1936, G.K. Chesterton contributed a weekly column to the Illustrated London News. His columns have been collected in 11 volumes by Ignatius Press
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Wandering Mind of GKC

When I began this article I intended to write with a most earnest and urgent moral purpose. But I seem somehow to have lost the thread of it.

G.K. Chesterton in the Illustrated London News, November 4, 1905

From 1905 until his death in 1936, G.K. Chesterton contributed a weekly column to the Illustrated London News. His columns have been collected in 11 volumes by Ignatius Press
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Detective Stories and Real Life

That detective stories, being fictitious, are much more purely rational than detective events in actual life. Sherlock Holmes could only exist in fiction; he is too logical for real life. In real life he would have guessed half his facts a long time before he had deduced them.

G.K. Chesterton in the Illustrated London News, November 4, 1905

From 1905 until his death in 1936, G.K. Chesterton contributed a weekly column to the Illustrated London News. His columns have been collected in 11 volumes by Ignatius Press
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Statistics and Meaning

It is psychologically impossible, in short, when we hear real scientific statistics, no to think that they mean something. Generally they mean nothing. Sometimes they mean something that isn’t true.

G.K. Chesterton in the Illustrated London News, November 18, 1905

From 1905 until his death in 1936, G.K. Chesterton contributed a weekly column to the Illustrated London News. His columns have been collected in 11 volumes by Ignatius Press
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Logic is an Insane Thing

Logic is essentially an insane thing, and we do not know what the scientific oppressors of mankind may be up to next.

G.K. Chesterton in the Illustrated London News, November 18, 1905

From 1905 until his death in 1936, G.K. Chesterton contributed a weekly column to the Illustrated London News. His columns have been collected in 11 volumes by Ignatius Press
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Facts and Truth

It is impossible for the human intellect (which is divine) to hear a fact as a fact. It always hears a fact as a truth, which is an entirely different thing. A truth is a fact with meaning. Many facts have no meaning at all, as far as we can really discover; but the human intellect (which is divine) always adds a meaning to the fact which it hears.

G.K. Chesterton in the Illustrated London News, November 18, 1905

From 1905 until his death in 1936, G.K. Chesterton contributed a weekly column to the Illustrated London News. His columns have been collected in 11 volumes by Ignatius Press
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The Invisible Kingdom

When four knights scattered the blood and brains of St. Thomas of Canterbury it was not only a sign of anger but a sort of black admiration. They wished for his blood, but they wished even more for his brains. Such a blow will remain for ever unintelligible unless we realize what the brains of St. Thomas were thinking about just before they were distributed over the floor. They were thinking about the great medieval conception that the Church is the judge of the world. Becket objected to a priest being tried even by the Lord Chief Justice. And his reason was simple: because the Lord Chief Justice was being tried by the priest. The judiciary was itself sub judice. The kings were themselves in the dock. The idea was to create an invisible kingdom without armies or prisons, but with complete freedom to condemn publicly all the kingdoms of the earth.

G.K. Chesterton in What’s Wrong with the World

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