Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Eco and GKC

In a 1989 interview reported in the Norwegian periodical magazine litteraire, author Umberto Eco revealed that he had built his 1989 novel Foucault's Pendulum upon a statement by G. K. Chesterton that "Those who cease to believe in God do not believe in nothing; they believe in anything!" [September 6, 1989, p. 46]

I'm looking for that quote, by the way. I would've thought I could find it in "The Suicide of Thought" in Orthodoxy, but I couldn't. Any leads?

3 comments:

Chestertonian said...

This is one of those funny quotes that both is and isn't a Chesterton quote. The words come from Chesterton, but they weren't written as one quote.

They come from two different Father Brown stories, from the Incredulity of Father Brown collection. I forget which two stories. I don't know who took the two quotes and combined them into the single quote, or when. People quote it all the time, however.

Petellius said...

More information on the famous non-quotation:

http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/?p=135

undergroundman said...

They believe in anything...that they want to. ;)

The freedom is exhilarating, but it doesn't lead to nihilism unless you are a stupid and/or overwhelmingly pessimistic person, and it doesn't lead to evil unless you are an evil person.