He had a curious green necktie and a very long neck; I am always meeting idealists with very long necks. Perhaps it is that their eternal aspiration slowly lifts their heads nearer and nearer to the stars. Or perhaps it has something to do with the fact that so many of them are vegetarians: These things are in every sense above me. Such, anyhow, was the young man who did not believe in fairy tales; and by a curious coincidence he entered the room when I had just finished looking through a pile of contemporary fiction, and had begun to read "Grimm's Fairy tales" as a natural consequence.
The modern novels stood before me, however, in a stack; and you can imagine their titles for yourself. There was "Suburban Sue: A Tale of Psychology," and also "Psychological Sue: A Tale of Suburbia"; there was "Trixy: A Temperament," and "Man-Hate: A Monochrome," and all those nice things. I read them with real interest, but, curiously enough, I grew tired of them at last, and when I saw "Grimm's Fairy Tales" lying accidentally on the table, I gave a cry of indecent joy. Here at least, here at last, one could find a little common sense.
I opened the book, and my eyes fell on these splendid and satisfying words, "The Dragon's Grandmother. I listened to what he said about the society politely enough, I hope; but when he incidentally mentioned that he did not believe in fairy tales, I broke out beyond control. It is much easier to believe in Blue Beard than to believe in you.
A blue beard is a misfortune; but there are green ties which are sins. It is far easier to believe in a million fairy tales than to believe in one man who does not like fairy tales. I would rather kiss Grimm instead of a Bible and swear to all his stories as if they were thirty-nine articles than say seriously and out of my heart that there can be such a man as you; that you are not some temptation of the devil or some delusion from the void.
Look at these plain, homely, practical words. If there was a dragon, he had a grandmother. But you--you had no grandmother! If you had known one, she would have taught you to love fairy tales. You had no father, you had no mother; no natural causes can explain you. I believe many things which I have not seen; but of such things as you it may be said, 'Blessed is he that has seen and yet has disbelieved. It seemed to me that he did not follow me with sufficient delicacy, so I moderated my tone. Folk-lore means that the soul is sane, but that the universe is wild and full of marvels.
Realism means that the world is dull and full of routine, but that the soul is sick and screaming. The problem of the fairy tale is-- what will a healthy man do with a fantastic world? The problem of the modern novel is--what will a madman do with a dull world? The essays gathered here are a testament to G.
Chesterton's faith—not his faith in religion or a higher power, but in the ability to discover something wonderful in the objects, the experiences, and the people that cross our paths every single day. With his unique brand of humor and insight, he demonstrates how the commonplace adds enormous value to the landscape of daily life.
Full of both good sense and nonsense, Chesterton's commentaries—first published nearly a century ago—remain fresh today. Reprint of the Sheed and Ward, New York, edition. The Universe According to G. A Dictionary of the Mad, Mundane and Metaphysical. If you wish to perceive that limitless felicity, limit yourself if only for a moment. If you wish to realise how fearfully and wonderfully God's image is made, stand on one leg. If you want to realise the splendid vision of all visible things-- wink the other eye. Mar 26, Justin Achilli rated it it was amazing.
The Project Gutenberg EBook of Tremendous Trifles, by G. K. Chesterton This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions. Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg.
Marvelous; a case study of the outlook of a true fantasist. Chesterton sees, in beautiful simplicity, the things in the world that people take for granted yet are truly fantastical when considered on their own terms. I read an essay from this collection any time I feel like I'm in a rut and it never fails to make me smile and inspire a fresh perspective.
Sep 24, Pedro Rocha rated it it was amazing. No fim de cada momento de leitura sentimo-nos compelidos a repousar os olhos sobre qualquer coisa que nos rodeie. Jan 21, Paige rated it really liked it. The chapter "The Red Angel" really explained why Fairy Tales are important, not just the Disney ones which are entertaining, but to a degree harmful in that they suggest everything ends in a happy ending , but why it is important to have scary fairy tales read to children.
Specifically "The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination.
What the fairy tale provides for him is a St George to kill the dragon Exactly what the fairy tale does is this: He probably wrote too many. There are a number of great ones here, as there are in each of the volumes published in his lifetime. But then there are inevitably some that drag a bit. Beyond the essays, The Everyman Chesterton is also a fine introduction. Definitely worth a read. Short stories and columns; some interesting personal accounts some clearly parables. Chesterton is easy to read today. In some ways he is ahead of his time, in some ways he is a man of his time.
Thoroughly enjoyable even when I disagreed with a philosophy of his. Jul 28, Aria Maher rated it it was amazing Shelves: A collection of extremely witty and ridiculous essays by the wonderful G. Sometimes I couldn't tell exactly what point he was trying to make, but every essay is delightfully funny and smart, and will definitely get you thinking. A whole lot of fun.
Feb 14, Chase Fluhart rated it it was amazing. Everything I love about Mr. Witty, rambling, pleasant, English. This book was a lot of fun. Nothing out of the ordinary; in fact, he wrote all of these essays just as a type of public journal, something to make "his bread and butter" by.
In the introduction he states that most of us really don't think of the ordinary experiences that we have in life: But don't let us let the eye rest. Why should the eye be so lazy? Let us exercise the eye until it learns to see startling facts that run across t This book was a lot of fun. Let us exercise the eye until it learns to see startling facts that run across the landscape as plain as a painted fence.
Let us be ocular athletes. Let us learn to write essays on a stray cat or a coloured cloud. I have attempted some such thing in what follows; but anyone else may do it better, if anyone else will only try" 1. In the first essay "Tremendous Trifles" he writes, "The only excuse for the scraps that follow is that they show what can be achieved with a commonplace existence and the sacred spectacles of exaggeration" 3.
And what follows is a lot of fun. Not that there is a great point to each essay or some moral of the story that will change your life, but the essays are still worth the time invested into them.
Chesterton's way of writing about ordinary things, from cab rides to Dickinson are captivating nonetheless. Of the essays that I absolutely loved was called "The Red Angel. Let me quote two passages so you get a taste of his writing. The first comes from page 50, where Chesterton writes: Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. This makes is ordinary essays a lot of fun to read.
A couple years ago I read a delightful little book called On Tremendous Trifles. Upon revisiting the book I discovered that it was in fact a shortened version that was missing about half the essays of the original. This book doesn't have the "on". On the one hand I was a trifle annoyed when I had discovered this since they could have been more clear about the omission of over half of the original's contents, but on the other hand I was excited since it meant that there was a A couple years ago I read a delightful little book called On Tremendous Trifles. On the one hand I was a trifle annoyed when I had discovered this since they could have been more clear about the omission of over half of the original's contents, but on the other hand I was excited since it meant that there was a longer version of this book which I had not read.
Tremendous Trifles is Chesterton's celebration of the mundane, ordinary, and unexciting. It serves as a challenge to find wonder in all things and to be moved to wonder and joy by life. Chesterton's three strongest traits are very present and clear in these pages. First, he was a cheerful person who loved life.
He had that sort of cheerfulness that one sees in someone who has been depressed and knows how hard life can be. He finds joy in simple little things and tries to actively notice it in all places. Secondly, he was a very wise and intelligent man. It is pretty much inarguable that Chesterton was very intelligent, which does not mean that I agree with everything he says, but simply that he says almost everything well. He argues with a skill and wit that leads me to be impressed even when I think he is mistaken.
Thirdly, and I think this is closely related to the first two points, he was hilarious. Almost every single page of this book is funny. Chesterton can make you laugh as he argues with you, teaches you, and merely entertains you. There are many gems in this book. I was going to quote some of the great lines but I after awhile i wanted to quote entire essays. The one flaw of this book is that many of these essays were speaking of contemporary issues, and many of these are now antiquated issues.
But even these essays are not only interesting from a historical perspective, since there is still the general conceit that runs through all these books which is the wonder of the ordinary. Dec 30, Thomas Rau rated it liked it Shelves: I read a lot of Chesterton; this is not one of my favourites.
The essays in this collection were to sermon-like for me, too preachy, something Chsterton manages to steer clear of in his novels and short story cycles, which, apparently, I prefer. Still, it is Chesterton, and therefore witty and intriguing and curious. Aug 04, Eustacia Tan rated it it was amazing. A while back, my friend and I were trying to find out the who said this quote "Fairy tales are more than true: Chesterton He is seriously one of my favourite authors!
My friend was saying that Neil Gaiman was quoting G. So after some searching, I found that this this quote is an approximation of the following quote A while back, my friend and I were trying to find out the who said this quote "Fairy tales are more than true: So after some searching, I found that this this quote is an approximation of the following quote from G. The content is what Chesterton himself calls "a sort of sporadic diary", where he talks about about things that happen to catch his eye. What Chesterton does best is to make the mundane magical.
It's something that I can identify with more than ever, as I vacillate between the feeling that Japan is my home and the wonder of the tourist.
Another thing that caught my eye was the chapter on travelling. He says that The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land it is to at least set food on one's own country as a foreign land. It is definitely something to make me think. Chesterton may be called the master without a masterpiece, but I think his talent lay in taking a small, everyday occurrence and for those few precious pages, spun it into a brilliant gem. This review is first posted to Inside the mind of a Bibliophile Feb 04, Joel rated it really liked it.
The first essay of G. Chesterton's I remember reading is On Lying in Bed , which begins, "Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a coloured pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling. I've finally found it again, then, the collection containing that essay the drew me in.
The title itself, Tremendous Trifles, introdu The first essay of G. The title itself, Tremendous Trifles, introduces us to the sort of paradox Chesterton loved. He isn't being flip; he really does talk about daily trifles, but finds tremendous significance in them.
Read the first essay , a fable of two boys, Paul and Peter. One grows to giant proportions and finds once great things pedestrian. He looms above waterfalls and mountains, and all their majesty is lost.
In the modern novels the hero is mad before the book begins, and suffers from the harsh steadiness and cruel sanity of the cosmos. Return to Book Page. The Riddle of the Ivy. Short stories and columns; some interesting personal accounts some clearly parables. All this kind of talk is based on that complete forgetting of what a child is like which has been the firm foundation of so many educational schemes. But a lady has written me an earnest letter saying that fairy tales ought not to be taught to children even if they are true.
The other shrinks to a tiny size and the very grass under his feet becomes a jungle. Chesterton strives for the second perspective, to find great things in what looks very little. He writes, in another essay, "I suppose every one must have reflected how primeval and how poetical are the things that one carries in one's pocket; the pocket-knife, for instance, the type of all human tools, the infant of the sword. Once I planned to write a book of poems entirely about the things in my pockets. But I found it would be too long; and the age of the great epics is past.
The essays lag at times, chiefly when he writes about contemporary political figures and issues of his day. But you don't regret having read even those essays, if only because of Chesterton's winsome style. And even if you don't find the subject of any given essay particularly interesting, perhaps you may find yourself inspired to look about you in a different way. May 29, Peter rated it it was ok Shelves: I'm increasingly conflicted about Chesterton's books. He got a lot of things right, and there has never been anyone in the world better at paradoxes with deeper meanings, but I think when he's not thinking consciously about tolerance, as in much of his fiction, he does better.
Althou I'm increasingly conflicted about Chesterton's books. Although he never, ever does get it quite through his head that any woman could ever want to get involved in philosophical or political debate. He has all women on the biggest pedestal ever and he will not let them get down. I don't have anything especial to say about this one. It's just "a length cut from the mixed and flowing substance that was" Chesterton the original quote has Dickens. It's a collection of newspaper columns he wrote, really, and therefore topical and somewhat confusing.
And Chesterton is at his worst - understanding always that his "worst" is still some high-quality wordsmithing - when he's being topical.