Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Romance and Reality (as explained by an Original Orthodox Rebel)

One of the reasons I like Chesterton is that he treats spiritual reality as if it were real. For him, God and all that He is and promised are not abstractions but concrete realities that we walk amongst and through and in every single day of our lives. That life is a story "written by the finger of God" was no mere pleasing maxim; for Chesterton, it was the deepest and most fundamental philosophy.

-Jon Vowell (c) 2011

(The following is excerpted from his book Heretics, p. 143.)

Romance is the deepest thing in life; romance is deeper even than reality. For even if reality could be proved to be misleading, it still could not be proved to be unimportant or unimpressive. Even if the facts are false, they are still very strange. And this strangeness to life, this unexpected and even perverse element of things as they fall out, remains incurably interesting.


People wonder why the novel is the most popular form of literature; people wonder why it is read more than books of science or books of metaphysics. The reason is very simple: it is merely that the novel is more true than they are. Life may legitimately appear as a book of science. Life may sometimes appear, and with a much greater legitimacy, as a book of metaphysics. But life is always a novel. Our existence may cease to be a song; it may cease even to be a beautiful lament. Our existence may not be an intelligible justice, or even a recognizable wrong. But our existence is still a story. In the fiery alphabet of every sunset is written, "to be continued in our next."

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