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Heretics [Anglais] [Relié]

G. K. Chesterton

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A rogues gallery of heretics by G. K. Chesterton. This is the companion volume to Orthodoxy. Visit to see other books in this G. K. Chesterton series. --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.

Biographie de l'auteur

Gilbert Keith Chesterton, (29 May 1874 – 14 June 1936) better known as G.K. Chesterton, was an English writer, lay theologian, poet, philosopher, dramatist, journalist, orator, literary and art critic, biographer, and Christian apologist. Chesterton is often referred to as the "prince of paradox." Time magazine, in a review of a biography of Chesterton, observed of his writing style: "Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories—first carefully turning them inside out."--Source: Wikipedia --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.

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NOTHING more strangely indicates an enormous and silent evil of modern society than the extraordinary use which is made nowadays of the word "orthodox." Lire la première page
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71 internautes sur 71 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 SPARKLING CHESTERTON 19 janvier 2004
Par Michael JR Jose - Publié sur
A 1905 collection of twenty Victorian journalistic essays and articles still worth reading, and not merely on historical or nostalgic grounds? Some pieces are of mainly historical interest, but not most. Neither is it a 'religious title', in fact it is nearly irreligious in places. It merely takes issue with arty types like Mr. Kipling, G.B. Shaw, H.G. Wells, and Whistler. It is also vintage Chesterton, at his usual paradoxical, oblique, witty, funny, slapstick, sardonic, jolly, and generous best.
It is a positive and happy book, but it was accused of Negativism in its day (Kafka said Chesterton was so full of joy that you might almost suppose 'he had found God'--perverse but honest.) Another exasperated opponent, said that if he was so clever and all-knowing he should write down his own personal positive beliefs. So he did. They are still read today, and many who enjoy 'Orthodoxy' (1908) will enjoy this, its progenitor too, which is impossible to summarize, so I have given a thumbnail of each chapter.
Chapter 1. Introductory remarks on the importance of orthodoxy
The examined life - meaninglessness of modern subjective attitudes of not owning your own point of view. Decline of respect for reason and rational argument - political correctness, or 'Good taste, the last and vilest of human superstitions'. To know a man's worldview is to know him. Pernicious effects of subjectivism in literature and the arts.
2. On the negative spirit
Essential need for positive belief - no society can prosper on negative laws alone. Progress in human rights of liberty, education, free speech, and tolerance are only guaranteed with 'a definite creed and a cast-iron code of morals'.
3. On Mr. Rudyard Kipling and making the world small
Kipling considerable poet but no true patriot, but proto-fascist. [GKC probably first to spot this.] Worships strength and discipline, empire-building, for their own sake. 'He admires England, but he does not love her'.
4. Mr. Bernard Shaw***GOOD***
[GKC being good friend of GBS.] GBS brilliant and witty, but hopeless subjectivist. GBS attacks all pretensions as 'every moral generalization oppressed the individual; the golden rule was there is no golden rule'. But then why should we allow Him to make the One Rule that rules them all? Perpetrates errors of sociologist/anthropologist, still with us today.
5. Mr. H.G. Wells and the giants***GOOD***
Wells' faith in Evolutionism (as opposed to evolution) shown to be false - 'the scientific fallacy...of not beginning with the human soul...but with some such thing as protoplasm'. The demonstrable fact of original sin in the universal existence of selfishness. Wells' Utopia assumes selfishness can be cured by ignoring it, not curing it. 'Heresy of immoral hero-worship' (ie, celebrity).
6. Christmas and the aesthetes
Essential nature of ritual. Attacks 'The religion of Comte, generally known as Positivism, or the worship of humanity'. Comte's attempt to institute a secular religion - ritual the only sensible part of his theory as it expresses the deepest meaning and emotion. 'Take away what is supernatural, and what remains is the unnatural.'
7. Omar and the sacred vine***EXCELLENT***
Correct attitude to wine and the good things of life. Not a mere mean between excess and teetotalism but a proper enjoyment of what is good. 'Drink because you are happy, but never because you are miserable...poetical joyous and instinctive'. 'Happiness is a mystery like religion, and should never be rationalized...If we are to be truly gay, we must believe that there is some eternal gaiety in the nature of things.'
8. The mildness of the yellow press
Tabloids. No so much sensational as stunted, mendacious, and silly. [So no change there then.]
9. The moods of Mr. George Moore
Satirical. Pride, least attractive of all faults.
10. On sandals and simplicity
Gentle mockery of the vegetarian impulse.
11. Science and the savages***GOOD***
Materialism (philosophical). Sociology/anthropology inadequate methodology. Starts by excluding what they pretend to disprove existence of. Study of primitives less revealing than study of one's own soul. [cf. Pascal Boyer]
12. Paganism and Mr. Lowes Dickinson***EXCELLENT***
Dickinson represents ancient Greeks as 'an ideal of full and satisfied humanity', ie, he is a humanist/New Ager. Replaced by Christianity because rational but sad pagan virtues such as justice and temperance insufficient. Great Christian virtue is humility. Mystical and happy values of faith, hope, and charity are essential, even if seem irrational.
13. Celts and Celtophiles***GOOD***
Race: a non-concept [genetically ahead of his time!]. Nationhood: a definable spiritual concept. Irish a nation, not a race.
14. On certain modern writers and the institution of the family
Defence of the family against Nietzsche & co.
15. On smart novelists and the smart set
Analysis of 'penny dreadfuls' and 'halfpenny novelettes'.
16. On Mr. McCabe and a divine frivolity
Use of humor defended in serious debate (against po-faced atheist).
17. On the wit of Whistler***EXCELLENT***
Errors of relativism in art as in ethics: illustration of the mutable camel. The artist Whistler: 'He was one of those people who always live up to their emotional incomes, who are always taut and tingling with vanity'. Three type of satirist who are also great men (illustrated by Rabelais, Swift, and Pope. Whistler talked too much about his art to be a great artist.
18. The fallacy of the young nation
A nation may be chronologically young and spiritually old, or vice versa. Eg, Ancient Greece and America.
19. Slum novelists and the slums***EXCELLENT***
Patronizing novelists writing of the lower classes, eg Somerset Maugham. Undemocracy in Britain.
20. Concluding remarks on the importance of orthodoxy
'Man can be defined as the animal that makes dogmas.'
'If we want doctrines we go to great artists.'
'The more we are certain what good is, the more we shall see good in everything.'
'We have a general view of existence, whether we like it or not; it alters, or, to speak more accurately, it creates and involves everything we say and do, whether we like it or not.' True.
15 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Peculiar to his time and applicaple to ours 11 avril 2006
Par Derek M. Foster - Publié sur
This book is a sort of prequal to Chesterton's most famous apologetic work, "Orthodoxy." "Heretics" is a collection of papers that Chesterton wrote to expose what he considered to be the unhealthy philosophies of his day. A critic later wrote of this work, "I will begin to worry about my philosophy...when Mr. Chesterton has given us his." Chesterton then wrote the book "Orthodoxy" in response to that comment.

With that said, it is well to note that "Heretics" and "Orthodoxy" should be read almost as a single work. From the viewpoint of Chesterton, "Heretics" is the critique of bad philosophy and "Orthodoxy" is the defense of good philosophy.

The trouble with "Heretics" is that it is such a local book. What I mean is that this book is a series of analytical criticisms of specific men during that specific time period (late 19th century to early 20th century) and it is easy to miss the points Chesterton makes if you are not familiar with the philosophies and views of the men he is critiquing. That isn't to say this book isn't one Chesterton's finest works. Yet, I would certainly reccomend "Heretics: The Annotated Edition" to anyone who is not very familiar with these particular early 20th century English writers which he is referring to in this book. The annotated edition makes it much easier to see what Chesterton is saying. For although people change over time, philosophies generally remain the same; and that is why Chesterton's criticisms of these philosophies are still relevant. And as stated earlier, this book, in a way, sets up the groundwork for "Orthodoxy," which is still considered a masterpiece; and almost certainly worth reading for anyone who does not understand or sympathize with the sentiment and romance of the Christian faith.
12 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An Unorthodox Defense of Orthodoxy 3 août 2004
Par George R Dekle - Publié sur
George Bernard Shaw, the subject of one of the essays in this book, once wrote that morals were for the middle class. The lower class couldn't afford them and the upper class could afford to do without them. Modern day "thinkers" assail the Judeo-Christian ethic as irrelevant to any class and pride themselves on their thoroughly contemporary avant-garde world view. How ironic it is that this thoroughly modern iconoclasm has been around for at least 100 years.

Chesterton weighs in on the "heretics" of his day who prided themselves in their heretical superiority to conservative orthodoxy. These heretics seem to have had a worldview not much out of step with modern avant-garde thought. Chesterton's critique of these ideas is lucid, lyrical, and logical. The passage of 100 years has obscured the context of much of what he says, but his conclusions are as timely today as they were yesterday.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Heretics 11 janvier 2007
Par J. Shelby - Publié sur
A fantastic book by a great writer, highly recommend it for anyone interested in Apologetics, or just fun argument should definitely read it. While this review will hardly do justice to him, Chesterton is amazingly complex, and while sometimes incorrect, offensive, or fallacious, he is always intelligent, witty, and generally has an opinion very much worth listening to. Highly recommended.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Criticisms of Heretics or Conventional Fads? 7 janvier 2007
Par James E. Egolf - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
G.K. Chesterton wrote HERETICS c. 1905. Yet this book is still timely in that popular gurus change opinions and social theories very quickly never realizing how dated the newest fad becomes. Chesterton had the rare ability in exposing many new fads as actually some varient of some ideas that were in vogue during Ancient History.

Chesterton never engages in ad hominem arguments. He is careful to metion the merits of those with whom he disagrees. Chesteron focuses on the logical fallacies of his critics and never engages in bitterness or smear tactics.

Readers should carefully read Chesterton's cirticisms of G.B. Shaw. Chesterton asserts the validity of Shaw's Socialism. Chesterton does not argue with Shaw's socialist views per se. He does critisize Shaw's tendenacy toward a mechanical view of society and politics. One should note that in spite of their repeated debates and crticisms of each others' work, Chesterton and Shaw remained life long friends.

Chesterton has some interesting comments on political power. Chesteron was probably not a democrat, and his views beginning on page 168 are note worthy. Chesterton remarks condemns those who pick a Caesar. He remarks that people falsely look favorably on such an individual because he, the Strong Man or the Caesar, is not an ordinary man. In other words, men may domocratically opt for someone whom ordinary think is better. This is a form despotism or slavery where the ruler has the sanctions of the victim. Other rulers hold position by heredity right whereby men accept this notion only because of the social order rather than false praise or respect for someone who may be evil and take advantage of men's sychophantic blind obedience to self appointed knaves.

Chesterton has good insight regarding the abuse of language and different rules for social classes. If some poor soul is arrested for stealing, he/she is accused of theft. If some who is wealthy is arrested for the same crime, the comment is that the wealthy person has an illness called kleptomania. To paraphrase Chesterton, the wealthy want to make laws ( or in their case excuses)while decent people want to obey the law and expect everyone to do the same.

G.K. Chesterton writes well and uses reason as his guide. He did not get angry when his critics attacked him for his personal appearance. He was a large man. Chesterton could laugh at himself. However, he got angry when men attacted honesty and truth. Chesterton was a champion of himself or his work. He was a champion of reason, truth, and honesty. Whether one disagrees with him, Chesterton is well worth reading for his prose, knowledge, and logic.
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