Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Gilbert on Storytelling

Thank you Nancy Brown for sending this quote. Imagine, Nancy sending a Chesterton quote. The mind boggles.

The truth is, in other words, that there never was a scheme nearer to the deepest reality of life than that of the old romance of chivalry. If we must have a merely elementary statement of essential religion, that is the right outline of the story: that Man is sent forth by an authority that is good, like King Arthur or a fairy godmother, into a world that is wonderful, but contains dangers and temptations, like dragons and wizards; that he is sent upon a quest or trial; that is, that he is judged by the same authority that sent him forth. That is the story at the heart of all healthy life and literature; and it is quite true that people who are healthy can sometimes act on it without arguing it out. But if they argue it out, they will find it implies certain dogmas; as that there is a design, that it is a benevolent design, but that it does allow of free will, and makes the good a matter of choice. Those who thought they could hold that healthy romance for ever, merely by being healthy and without holding any of the dogmas that justify it, are more and more finding out their mistake. Hence, when they are asked to state what they really do believe about life, they become "desperately vague." And they have now reached the point where it is not only more and more difficult to state a creed, but even more and more difficult to tell a story.
--G. K. Chesterton

If you have a favorite literature-related quote, send it to me. If I like it, I'll post it on the blog. Hey, it may even make it's way into the new book.

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