Pipes Magazine » General Pipe Smoking Discussion

Search Forums  
   
Tags:  No tags yet. 

G.K. Chesterton On Smoking

(27 posts)
  1. brass

    brass

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jun 2014
    Posts: 1,862

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    G.K. Chesterton was an early 20th century English writer, journalist,theologian, poet, dramatist, literary and art critic, biographer, cultural observer and anthropologist, philosopher, orator, and Christian apologist. He was also a wine drinking, cigar smoking raconteur that would have been in good company with Mark Twain. The following are some of his comments regarding smoking.

    "To have a horror of tobacco is not to have an abstract standard of right; but exactly the opposite. It is to have no standard of right whatever; and to make certain local likes and dislikes as a substitute. Nobody who has an abstract standard of right and wrong can possibly think it wrong to smoke a cigar. It is a vague sentimental notion that certain habits were not suitable to the old log cabin or the old hometown. It has a vague utilitarian notion that certain habits are not directly useful in the new amalgamated stores or the new financial gambling-hell. If his aged mother or his economic master dislikes to see a young man hanging about with a pipe in his mouth, the action becomes a sin; or the nearest that such a moral philosophy can come to the idea of a sin. A man does not chop wood for the log hut by smoking; and a man does not make dividends for the Big Boss by smoking; and therefore smoking has a smell as of something sinful."

    "Incidentally, I must say I can bear witness to this queer taboo about tobacco. Of course numberless Americans smoke numberless cigars; a great many others eat cigars, which seems to me a more occult pleasure. But there does exist an extraordinary idea that ethics are involved in some way; and many who smoke really disapprove of smoking.

    I remember once receiving two American interviewers on the same afternoon; there was a box of cigars in front of me and I offered one to each in turn. Their reaction (as they would probably call it) was very curious to watch. The first journalist stiffened suddenly and silently and declined in a very cold voice. He could not have conveyed more plainly that I had attempted to corrupt an honorable man with a foul and infamous indulgence; as if I were the Old Man of the Mountain offering him hashish that would turn him into an assassin. The second reaction was even more remarkable. The second journalist first looked doubtful; then looked sly; then seemed to glance about him nervously, as if wondering whether we were alone, and then said with a sort of crestfallen and covert smile: "Well, Mr. Chesterton, I'm afraid I have the habit."

    "The Catholic Church is like a thick steak, a glass of red wine, and a good cigar."

    "In Catholicism, the pint, the pipe and the Cross can all fit together."

    _______________________________________

    I'll throw in another quote from St. Arnold, just because I like it.

    From man’s sweat and God’s love, beer came into the world.

    Saint Arnold of Metz, The Patron Saint of Brewers

    Posted 4 years ago #
  2. conlejm

    conlejm

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Mar 2014
    Posts: 1,499

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I just picked up a $1 used book titled "The Man Who Was Thursday" written by Chesterton. I look forward to reading it. I also enjoyed the Father Brown series on PBS, based on Chesterton's work, though I don't know how closely it followed the written word.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  3. brass

    brass

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jun 2014
    Posts: 1,862

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Let us know what you think of the book.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  4. 4nogginsmike

    4nogginsmike

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Aug 2013
    Posts: 1,093

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Where else but in the pipe world would be found admirers of G.K. Chesterton?

    Posted 4 years ago #
  5. buroak

    buroak

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jul 2014
    Posts: 1,922

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    A buddy of mine has been trying for years to get me to read Chesterton. I may have to move him up the reading list queue.

    Life contains a particle of risk. - Allardyce T. Meriweather in Little Big Man
    Posted 4 years ago #
  6. gregprince

    gregprince

    Senior Member
    Joined: Jan 2014
    Posts: 303

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Include me in. I've been reading him for forty some years.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  7. brass

    brass

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jun 2014
    Posts: 1,862

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    You can get them in Kindle format for next to nothing.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  8. gregprince

    gregprince

    Senior Member
    Joined: Jan 2014
    Posts: 303

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Brass, don't I know it. My paper copies are showing their age but the Kindle copies are always new.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  9. brass

    brass

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jun 2014
    Posts: 1,862

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I have both paper an Kindle. Still prefer paper for casual reading but will choose Kindle for study. Especially since I've learned how to remove DRM so that I can copy text for note-taking and papers.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  10. sparrowhawk

    sparrowhawk

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jul 2013
    Posts: 2,860

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    That you for that posting. I too have been meaning to read the works of that Catholic gentleman, Chesterton, and will make it a point to download some of his works. Any recommendations for starters?

    There is no beauty without some strangeness in proportion.
    Posted 4 years ago #
  11. brass

    brass

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jun 2014
    Posts: 1,862

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    The Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton, Vol. 1: Heretics, Orthodoxy, the Blatchford Controversies (Collected Works of G. K. Chesterton) Paperback – February 1, 1986

    Get the paper version for $17.52 or the Kindle for a $1.49.

    The paper version's generally have fewer typos but I haven't noticed many, if any, in my Kindle edition.

    Reading Chesterton takes some attention, especially to catch all the nuances of his sly, dry humor. But he is not difficult, as say, the Summa Theologica by Aquinas.

    The perfect companion for Chesterton is a glass of port or decent sherry, accompanied by a pure English blend. He is sometimes referred to as the "Apostle of Common Sense." Chesterton, a fan of good wine, shares here is advice on drinking.

    Drink because you are happy, but never because you are miserable. Never drink when you are wretched without it, or you will be like the grey-faced gin-drinker in the slum; but drink when you would be happy without it, and you will be like the laughing peasant of Italy. Never drink because you need it, for this is rational drinking, and the way to death and hell. But drink because you do not need it, for this is irrational drinking, and the ancient health of the world.

    In other words, don't drink when you're sad, so as to be happy but drink when you're happy to be more happy and to share that happiness with friends and loved ones. Much melancholy and misery could be avoided if this advice was heeded.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  12. buroak

    buroak

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jul 2014
    Posts: 1,922

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    brass, Thanks for the tip.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  13. buroak

    buroak

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jul 2014
    Posts: 1,922

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Would this be a good route for delving into Chesterton? The bit on the copyright/publisher information page about the purpose of the publication seems a bit odd, but this Protestant may be missing something.

    http://www.amazon.com/The-G-Chesterton-Collection-Books-ebook/product-reviews/B00ALKPW4S/ref=cm_cr_dp_qt_hist_one?ie=UTF8&filterBy=addOneStar&showViewpoints=0

    Posted 4 years ago #
  14. conlejm

    conlejm

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Mar 2014
    Posts: 1,499

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Buroak, 50 books for $1.99 looks like a good deal to me! You've got some of his most well-known works of fiction as well as some high theology. I'm tempted to get it myself, even if I only read a book or two from the collection.

    Funny how great artists' paintings go up in price over time, but great authors' writings go for pennies years later. So sad.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  15. crusader

    crusader

    Member
    Joined: Aug 2014
    Posts: 234

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I have "Orthodoxy" in que. I am a big fan.

    "When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints"
    Posted 4 years ago #
  16. buroak

    buroak

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jul 2014
    Posts: 1,922

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Did either of you read that bit on the copyright/publisher page? I do not think the publisher is trying to re-launch the Thirty Years War, but the statement struck me as odd.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  17. conlejm

    conlejm

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Mar 2014
    Posts: 1,499

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Do you mean:

    This work is published for the greater Glory of Jesus Christ through His most Holy Mother Mary and for the sanctification of the militant Church and her members.
    ?

    Posted 4 years ago #
  18. buroak

    buroak

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jul 2014
    Posts: 1,922

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    That would be it. Is that a statement a Protestant just would not understand?

    Posted 4 years ago #
  19. gtclark

    gtclark

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Oct 2013
    Posts: 538

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Did either of you read that bit on the copyright/publisher page? I do not think the publisher is trying to re-launch the Thirty Years War, but the statement struck me as odd.

    The statement is in reference to the Church Militant, or all living Christians struggling against the forces of wickedness here on earth.

    Also, it's great to see some love for Chesterton here. He holds a special place in my heart, and anyone with even a passing interest in Christianity should read Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man. The latter was supposedly one of the texts that brought C.S. Lewis to Christianity from atheism, but both texts are wonderfully engaging (and amusing!).

    Posted 4 years ago #
  20. buroak

    buroak

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jul 2014
    Posts: 1,922

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    gtclark, Thank you very much for the clarification. I now feel comfortable buying that compilation.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  21. brass

    brass

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jun 2014
    Posts: 1,862

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    GT, thanks for answering Buroak's query. The Church Militant is certainly a technical term that could be misconstrued if one isn't familiar with the theological context.

    I've noticed that this site offers a group function that could possibly be used to form a book club. Assuming Kevin and the mods have no problems, would any of you be interested in forming a virtual book club to discuss some of GK's works? Say Orthodoxy or Heretics?

    I'm up for it if just a couple of you are interested.

    Pax

    Posted 4 years ago #
  22. buroak

    buroak

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jul 2014
    Posts: 1,922

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    brass, That term did obviously throw me a bit. We sang "I'm In The Lord's Army" (which also sounds dodgy to the uninitiated) when I was a kid in Sunday School, but Church Militant was a concept the teachers never got round to in class.

    I would be up for discussion of Chesterton.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  23. brass

    brass

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jun 2014
    Posts: 1,862

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Let's not forget "Onward Christian Soldiers, Marching off to War"

    OK, I sent a pm to Al to get their blessing for using a group for the discussion. If we three or four interested and approval, let's go for it. Otherwise, I have another website dedicated to such matters that we could use.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  24. buroak

    buroak

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jul 2014
    Posts: 1,922

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Let's not forget "Onward Christian Soldiers, Marching off to War"

    Of course!

    I hope we will get the go-ahead to conduct the discussion here. The great British authors of Chesterton's era are so enmeshed with smoking that there should be no conflict with the core of these forums.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  25. sparrowhawk

    sparrowhawk

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jul 2013
    Posts: 2,860

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I too hope we can contiue this line of discussion. There is great knowledge and wisdom in Church writing, and in particular the Church is responsible for much of the evolution of art during the Renaissance.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  26. brass

    brass

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jun 2014
    Posts: 1,862

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    We'll definitely continue the conversation. Since it is isn't pipe related, I'm looking into best options Al.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  27. kylef

    kylef

    Member
    Joined: Oct 2018
    Posts: 137

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Just found this thread-I'm a huge fan of Chesterton.

    For anyone still looking for recommendations, I'd give a nod to a book I'm just reading this morning: In Defense of Sanity.

    It's a collection of a bunch of Chesterton's essays, and virtually all of them are between three and eight pages, or so. I'm on my third time through the book. He could (and did) write about virtually every subject, from the mundane to the profound. He's brilliant, articulate and frequently hilarious. One of my favorite lines from this book: "Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese."

    Chesterton was a man almost completely at odds with trends of "modernity," as they were manifesting themselves around the turn of the twentieth century. As those trends have only gotten worse, in my opinion his writings are a great counterbalance to a lot of the dubious things our current society tries to impress on us.

    Posted 10 months ago #

Reply

You must log in to post.

 

 

    Back To Top  | Back to Forum Home Page

   Members Online Now
   admin, georged, yaddy306, tfdickson, jaytex969