September 19, 2009

"Sneakish"

Carl E. Olson has a funny piece, an "interview" with GK Chesterton on the subject of Dan Brown's fiction. GKC's answers are actual quotes from his writings. I liked this bit especially, having been tormented too often by slippery Lefty types who won't declare themselves in a frank and manly way...

G. K. Chesterton on Dan Brown: The Interview:

Chesterton: There has arisen in our time an extraordinary notion that there is something humane, open-hearted or generous about refusing to define one's creed. Obviously the very opposite is the truth. Refusing to define a creed is not only not generous, it is distinctly mean. It fails in frankness and fraternity towards the enemy. It is fighting without a flag or a declaration of war. It denies to the enemy the decent concessions of battle; the right to know the policy and to treat with the headquarters. Modern "broad-mindedness" has a quality that can only be called sneakish; it endeavours to win without giving itself away, even after it has won. It desires to be victorious without betraying even the name of the victor. For all sane men have intellectual doctrines and fighting theories; and if they will not put them on the table, it can only be because they wish to have the advantage of a fighting theory which cannot be fought...

(Quote from "Rabelasian Regrets," in The Common Man.)

Posted by John Weidner at September 19, 2009 9:05 PM
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