Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Orthodoxy (G.K. Chesterton)

I've been at YI Camp for the past few days (So Much More), and so, I've only read 2 books: The Hiding Place (Which is the story of Corrie Ten Boom, who hid the Jews from the Nazi's in WWII, and was a Christmas Present), and Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton (Which was Xiao Wen Lao Shi's book, but I got bored).

Even though I've read Orthodoxy before, it still seems like a first reading to me (maybe it's because I've not read it for so long?). And I realised on the second reading, that G.K. Chesterton's style of writing reminds me of C.S. Lewis's, and he's another awesome writer.

But, during the reading, I was suddenly reminded of ToK, from a line about reason being/needing faith, which led me to think about the various Ways of Knowing, which of course, led me to panic about my ToK essay, yet, Ryan says not to think about it....

But, the book is really beautiful, and is practically poetic is certain passages. I'm pretty certain that I've annoyed quite a lot of the campers because I went around asking them to read this one passage that I love. Maybe it shows the poetry of the English language and combines that with a new way of looking at fairy tales (a new interpretative framework?).

Sigh, I'm quite worried about the 2 big essays I have to finish, but I'm sure that with God's grace, I'll get things done in time.

Anyway, I shouldn't be worrying, when there's such a cool book to review, even though I'm not sure what more I can say. Seeing as all the praise I heap upon the book can't compare with reading the book itself (since I'm just an anonymous reader), I'll just reccomend that everyone reads this book. And since I'm sure some won't be able to find the book (or will be too lazy to look for it), here's the link to the online version from Project Gutenberg (Isn't it great that copyrights expire?):

And this is my favourite passage in the entire book. I don't know about anyone else, but I find it full of meaning and poetry (I bolded what I feel is the 'essence' of the passage). (:

But I deal here with what ethic and philosophy come from being fed on fairy tales. If I were describing them in detail I could note many noble and healthy principles that arise from them. There is the chivalrous lesson of "Jack the Giant Killer"; that giants should be killed because they are gigantic. It is a manly mutiny against pride as such. For the rebel is older than all the kingdoms, and the Jacobin has more tradition than the Jacobite. There is the lesson of "Cinderella," which is the same as that of the Magnificat— EXALTAVIT HUMILES. There is the great lesson of "Beauty and the Beast"; that a thing must be loved BEFORE it is loveable. There is the terrible allegory of the "Sleeping Beauty," which tells how the human creature was blessed with all birthday gifts, yet cursed with death; and how death also may perhaps be softened to a sleep. But I am not concerned with any of the separate statutes of elfland, but with the whole spirit of its law, which I learnt before I could speak, and shall retain when I cannot write. I am concerned with a certain way of looking at life, which was created in me by the fairy tales, but has since been meekly ratified by the mere facts.

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