The Greatest Writer
You May Never Have Heard Of

"How can we contrive to be at once astonished at the world and yet at home in it?"

"The real trouble with this world of ours is not that it is an unreasonable world, nor even that it is a reasonable one. The commonest kind of trouble is that it is nearly reasonable, but not quite. Life is not an illogicality; yet it is a trap for logicians. It looks just a little more mathematical and regular than it is; its exactitude is obvious, but its inexactitude is hidden; its wildness lies in wait."

"An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered"

"Fairy tales are more than true -- not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten."

"The center of every man's existence is a dream. Death, disease, insanity, are merely material accidents, like a toothache or a twisted ankle. That these brutal forces always besiege and often capture the citadel does not prove that they are the citadel."

"Over-civilization and barbarism are within an inch of each other. And a mark of both is the power of medicine-men."

"The riddles of God are more satisfying than the solutions of man."

"You can only find truth with logic if you have already found truth without it."

Have you ever wondered if there was some marvelous entity who has been hidden from your knowledge, some person who if encountered would be a real revelation?

A few years back, I found such a marvelous individual...

Some are convinced he is the greatest writer of the 20th Century
Some believe him the greatest philosopher or thinker of the Century
He has written over 100 books (and contributed to 200 more)
4,000 articles and essays, 200 short stories, hundreds of poems and several plays

He has written extensively on philosophy, history, literature and art criticism, sociology, economics and many other subjects, but most famously on religion, Christianity in particular -- and nearly every paragraph he wrote is a gem worth reading aloud (truly his ability to put great thinking into great writing is uncanny.)

He inspired the Irish hero-patriot Michael Collins in his pursuit of Irish independence
He inspired Gandhi in his quest for Indian independence
He rescued Charles Dickens' novels from near obscurity
He led an atheist to become a famous Christian author (C.S. Lewis)

A few more interesting facts:

1) He is one of the most quoted writers in the English language (perhaps the second most quoted, after Shakespeare)
2) He was known on occasion to have dictated one essay to his secretary while engaged in physically writing another
3) He debated some of the most prominant figures of his time -- Bertrand Russell, George Bernard Shaw, Clarence Darrow, H.G. Wells -- and usually won the argrument
4) He has a magazine and a scholarly journal named after him and dedicated to his work
5) He thought himself primarily a "rollicking journalist."
6) He went to art school but never to college

Oh, I almost forgot: Among the general reading public, he is most likely to be known for his marvelous detective stories

He was -- in the words of his friendly nemesis George Bernard Shaw --"a colossal genius," but you can spend years in college and never read one of his books.

Well, anyway, here he is -- the closet thing I know to that elusive "Great Secret"...

The startlingly brilliant and brilliantly jovial
"Prince of Paradox" and "Apostle of Common Sense"
G.K. Chesterton
(all 300 pounds of him)

Of course, Chesterton is not entirely a secret. More and more people are discovering him (and if you're lucky, and very observant, you may have seen somewhere along the line a TV series about him or a film or a British series based on his fictional work). But I'll leave it up to you to discover more about this great Catholic writer and why he's not exactly a household word (even among many otherwise well-read Catholics).

To avoid the risk of falling victim to one of Chesterton's quotes -- "The simplification of anything is always sensational" -- I'll lead you to place where you can find out more. While there are other sites, in my opinion the best place to start is:

With Chesterton, you have a lifetime of adventure ahead of you. With him you can go places - magical places - you may have never been to before or never knew existed.

"The world will never starve for want of wonders, but only for want of wonder."