“The fieriness of fire”

I do not think there is anyone who takes quite such a fierce pleasure in things being themselves as I do. The startling wetness of water excites and intoxicates me: the fieriness of fire, the steeliness of steel, the unutterable muddiness of mud. It is just the same with people. . . When we call a man “manly” or a woman “womanly” we touch the deepest philosophy.

— Letter to Frances [later his wife] (1899).

Published in: on April 9, 2008 at 9:05 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. And you are quite proficient in this true philosophy, dear Mr. Chesterton.

  2. Thank you, Giangaleazzo, for your frequent comments on this site. It gets a fair number of readers, but few commenters. Your input is appreciated.


    The Hebdomadarian

  3. [this before I read the above comment]

    Rereading this quote and reflecting on my appreciation of women, Chesterton’s remark that

    “When we call a[..] woman “womanly” we touch the deepest philosophy.”

    is accurately sublime. Because “womanly” women are a joy and wonder just to behold, not in any utilitarian way, far from it, but in praise of our Creator for His Goodness and, well, ingenuity [to use an inadequate word] in creating such wonders. Often, though, this quality of “womanhood” is lost, but when found, it makes it all the more appreciable.

    To Hebdomadarian:
    In simpleness, profundity. Often, in many aspects of life, clutter and disorder rules, where even good things become obscured and vulgarized. By focusing on one quote, allowing for a week’s reflection, we affirm that simpleness and humility are human virtues. Gratias.
    [Also note email change, if applicable]

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