Tuesday, August 15, 2006

"Restaurant Music is an Insult..."

Every now and then I run across a newspaper article vaguely quoting Chesterton as saying "restaurant music is an insult to the cook and the musician," or "music while dining is an insult to the chef and the violinist." In my book reading I've never come across a quote similar to it; so I contacted the American Chesterton Society's Quotemeister. Two weeks later I received a response from Dale Ahlquist with this quotation:
I have already remarked, with all the restraint that I could command, that of all modern phenomena, the most monstrous and ominous, the most manifestly rotting with disease, the most grimly prophetic of destruction, the most clearly and unmistakably inspired by evil spirits the most instantly and awfully overshadowed by the wrath of heaven, the most near to madness and moral chaos, the most vivid with devilry and despair, is the practice of having to listen to loud music while eating a meal in a restaurant... Also, as I have often pointed out, it is rude to everybody concerned. It is as if I went to hear Paderewski or Kreisler, at a concert, and started to spread out an elegant supper in front of me, with oysters and pigeon-pie and champagne, coffee and liqueurs. One is an insult to the cook and the other to the musician...

(Chesterton in The Illustrated London News, April 22, 1933.)
Beautiful! The tirade almost sounds like Belloc.

Thank you, Dale, for finding this.

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