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Hereticsby G. K. Chesterton
Synopses & Reviews
G. K. Chesterton, the "Prince of Paradox," is at his witty best in this collection of twenty essays and articles from the turn of the twentieth century. Focusing on "heretics" and#8212; those who pride themselves on their superiority to conservative views and#8212; Chesterton appraises prominent figures who fall into that category from the literary and art worlds. Luminaries such as Rudyard Kipling, George Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells, and James McNeill Whistler come under the author's scrutiny, where they meet with equal measures of his characteristic wisdom and good humor.
In addition to incisive assessments of well-known individuals ("Mr. Rudyard Kipling and Making the World Small" and "Mr. H. G. Wells and the Giants"), these essays contain observations on the wider world. "On Sandals and Simplicity," "Science and the Savages," "On Certain Modern Writers and the Institution of the Family," "On Smart Novelists and the Smart Set," and "Slum Novelists and the Slums" reflect the main themes of Chesterton's life's work. Heretics roused the ire of some critics for censuring contemporary philosophies without providing alternatives; the author responded a few years later with a companion volume, Orthodoxy (also available from Dover Publications). Sardonic, jolly, and generous, both books are vintage Chesterton.
Focusing on "heretics" and#151; those who pride themselves in their superiority to conservative views and#151; Chesterton appraises prominent figures from the literary and art worlds such as Kipling, Shaw, Wells, and Whistler.
The "enlightened" pursuit of "progressive" philosophy, science, technology, politics and culture have fed an institutional worldview that continues to unravel what's left of the historic unifier in Western civilization - what G.K. Chesterton called the "idea of wonder" in Christianity. This worldview, devoid of the Creator and Savior, splinters and re-imagines the plain text of Scripture and the teachings of the Church in a Byzantine effort to replace good and evil with "It could be better" and "It's not so bad." "The human race," Chesterton writes in Heretics, "fell once and, in falling, gained knowledge of good and of evil. Now we have fallen a second time, and only the knowledge of evil remains to us." Heretics reminds people how to measure their conduct on the basis of good and evil, the light and the dark.
This 1905 collection of articles focuses on the era's "heretics": those who pride themselves in their superiority to conservative views. G. K. Chesterton's companion book to Orthodoxy assesses avant-garde artists and writers (including Kipling, Shaw, Wells, and Whistler) with the author's characteristic wisdom and good humor.
Table of Contents
I. Introductory Remarks on the Importance of Orthodoxy
II. On the Negative Spirit
III. On Mr. Rudyard Kipling and Making the World Small
IV. Mr. Bernard Shaw
V. Mr. H. G. Wells and the Giants
VI. Christmas and the and#198;sthetes
VII. Omar and the Sacred Vine
VIII. The Mildness of the Yellow Press
IX. The Moods of Mr. George Moore
X. On Sandals and Simplicity
XI. Science and the Savages
XII. Paganism and Mr. Lowes Dickinson
XIII. Celts and Celtophiles
XIV. On Certain Modern Writers and the Institution of the Family
XV. On Smart Novelists and the Smart Set
XVI. On Mr. McCabe and a Divine Frivolity
XVII. On the Wit of Whistler
XVIII. The Fallacy of the Young Nation
XIX. Slum Novelists and the Slums
XX. Concluding Remarks on the Importance of Orthodoxy
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