"In order that the mind may not be taxed, moreover, by the manifold and confused reading of so many such things, and in order to prevent the escape of something valuable that we have read, heard, or discovered through the process of thinking itself, it will be found very useful to entrust to notebooks ... those things which seem noteworthy and striking."

[Commonplace books: Thomas Farnaby, 17th-century]

A supreme workman will never break by one note or one syllable or one stroke of the brush the living and inward law of the work he is producing. But he will break without scruple any number of those superficial regularities and orthodoxies which little, unimaginative critics mistake for its laws.

[critics: C. S. Lewis, Miracles]

Posted by Jonathan Schindler on 08.17.2010

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The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s ‘own,’ or ‘real’ life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life—the life God is sending one day by day; what one calls one’s ‘real life’ is a phantom of one’s own imagination. This at least is what I see at moments of insight: but it's hard to remember it all the time.

[life: C.S. Lewis, Letter to Arthur Greeves, 12/20/1943]

Posted by Jonathan Schindler on 07.28.2010

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"Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them. There's many a best-seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher."

[Writing: Flannery O'Connor, The Nature and Aim of Fiction]

Posted by Jonathan Schindler on 10.07.2009

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"Jesus took the highest wisdom of men and corrected it and readjusted it, because He was who He was. He did not need to argue; it was sufficient for Him to speak. No one can honestly face Jesus and honestly listen to Him without feeling that this is God's last word beside which all other words are inadequate, and all other wisdom out of date."

[Jesus: William Barclay, Matthew commentary]

Posted by Jonathan Schindler on 09.01.2009

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"If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly."

[Work: G.K. Chesterton, What's Wrong with the World]

Posted by Jonathan Schindler on 08.17.2009

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"In some cases it is really more creditable to be carried away by an emotion, however unreasonable, which springs from a great love, than to be unmoved."

[Love: Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov]

Posted by Jonathan Schindler on 07.07.2009

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"There are no words to express the abyss between isolation and having one ally. It may be conceded to the mathematicians that four is twice two. But two is not twice one; two is two thousand times one. That is why, in spite of a hundred disadvantages, the world will always return to monogamy."

[Companionship: G.K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday]

Posted by Jonathan Schindler on 06.25.2009

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"No mind was so good that it did not need another mind to counter and equal it, and to save it from conceit and blindness and bigotry and folly. Only in such a balance could humility be found, humility which was a lucid speed to welcome lucidity whenever and wherever it presented itself."

[Community: Charles Williams, The Place of the Lion]

Posted by Jonathan Schindler on 06.18.2009

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"A voice, crying out in song, went through the air of eden, a voice that swept up as the eagle, and with every call renewed its youth. All music was the scattered echo of that voice; all poetry was the approach of the fallen understanding of that unfallen meaning. All things were named--all but man himself, then sleep fell upon Adam, and in that first sleep he strove to utter his name, and as he strove he was divided and woke to find humanity doubled. The name of mankind was in neither voice but in both; the knowledge of the name and its utterance was in the perpetual interchange of love. Whoever denied that austere godhead, wherever and however it appeared--its presence, its austerity, its divinity--refused the name of man."

[: Charles Williams, The Place of the Lion]

Posted by Jonathan Schindler on 06.18.2009

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"An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered."

[Adventure: G.K. Chesterton, All Things Considered]

Posted by Jonathan Schindler on 06.16.2009

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"Live, then, and be happy, beloved children of my heart, and never forget that until the day when God shall deign to reveal the future to man, all human wisdom is summed up in these two words,—'Wait and hope.'"

[Hope: Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo]

Posted by Jonathan Schindler on 06.15.2009

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"But Christianity preaches an obviously unattractive idea, such as original sin; but when we wait for its results, they are pathos and brotherhood, and a thunder of laughter and pity; for only with original sin we can at once pity the beggar and distrust the king."

[Original sin: G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy]

Posted by Jonathan Schindler on 06.09.2009

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"The doom lies in yourself, not in your name."

[Doom: J.R.R. Tolkien, The Children of Hurin]

Posted by Jonathan Schindler on 06.09.2009

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"And the more I considered Christianity, the more I found that while it had established a rule and order, the chief aim of that order was to give room for good things to run wild."

[Christianity: G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy]

Posted by Jonathan Schindler on 06.09.2009

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"God, who needs nothing, loves into existence wholly superfluous creatures in order that He may love and perfect them."

[Humanity: C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves]

Posted by Jonathan Schindler on 06.09.2009

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