“A tense and secret festivity”

To sum up the whole matter very simply, if Mr. McCabe asks me why I import frivolity into a discussion of the nature of man, I answer, because frivolity is a part of the nature of man. If he asks me why I introduce what he calls paradoxes into a philosophical problem, I answer, because all philosophical problems tend to become paradoxical. If he objects to my treating of life riotously, I reply that life is a riot. And I say that the Universe as I see it, at any rate, is very much more like the fireworks at the Crystal Palace than it is like his own philosophy. About the whole cosmos there is a tense and secret festivity — like preparations for Guy Fawkes’ day. Eternity is the eve of something. I never look up at the stars without feeling that they are the fires of a schoolboy’s rocket, fixed in their everlasting fall.

Heretics (1905)

Published in: on February 3, 2007 at 3:36 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Sir,

    He is so happy hammering heretics, I am convinced that it must be the cure to every neurosis (O world, why do you not know?) The quote reminds me of something Peter Kreeft says about a student who complained that Chesterton was so good at juggling words that it made said student feel stupid, to which Kreeft replied not a word! My warm regards as to your new blog; anything that rhymes with the word “flog” must be good.

  2. Dave,

    Wait for the post I’m putting up tomorrow. He comes within a hair’s breadth of literally hammering a heretic.

    Thank you for the warm regards.

  3. […] is apparently “frivolous”. He was not the first to think so, and Chesterton himself has answered the charge: To sum up the whole matter very simply, if Mr. McCabe asks me why I import frivolity […]


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