Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Fun Little Book

For Christmas from my mother in law I got this great little book called Platitudes Undone. It is a reprint of Holbrook Jackson's 1911 Platitudes in the Making, but there is something unique about it. It is a facsimile of an edition that was found in a San Francisco used book store, and this is what it said on the inside cover:

"To G. K. Chesterton with esteem from Holbrook Jackson."

This would be interesting enough on its own, but when you leaf through the pages further you find a book-lover's treasure: After every one of Holbrook's platitudes Chesterton has scrawled a rebuttal or an approval in green pencil crayon. It is quite an insight into the humour and the mind of the man. Here are a few ditties:

Holbrook: "A lie is that which you do not believe."
GK: "This is a lie: so perhaps you don't believe it."

Holbrook: "Familiarity breeds not contempt, but indifference."
GK: "But it can also breed surprise. Try saying 'boots' ninety times."

Holbrook: "No opinion matters: except your own."
GK: "Said the man who thought he was a rabbit."

Holbrook: "Socialism aspires to make the world a place fit for supreme beings. Modern civilization provides no place for them."
GK: "There will always be only one place for supreme beings; outside the city & called the place of the skull."


matthew a. wilkinson said...

fantastic! I must get this book!

Tony Tanti said...

Cool stuff. The rabbit quote is my favorite.

I see you saw and enjoyed Hot Rod. A weird kinda funny that movie is.

mandy said...

oh wow.

its going on my gift list for my husband the seminary nerd. he'd LOVE it.

chesterton cracks me up.