Wednesday, August 09, 2006

An essay on the Chesterbelloc

Dr. Ralph McInerny provides a look at history's most senses-shattering team-up.
There is a sense in which it does not matter whether an artist produces much or little: the quality of his opus is the salient thing. Mere quantity is neutral in the sense that some artists produce a very great deal and it is only mediocre or bad, whereas others labor over one or two works which achieve perfection. Obviously it is large amounts of good stuff that one means when he invokes fecundity as a mark of greatness.
It will of course be said that neither Belloc nor Chesterton had time to agonize over any particular work. They wrote under financial pressure or to make deadlines and had to get the thing done. That makes the high quality of most of their work all the more impressive. But it is the sheer fun the two seemed to have had in doing most of what they did that characterizes them. Try and imagine either Belloc or Chesterton with writer's block or talking about the agony of creation. They did not have time for the mannerisms of the second-rate. Analogously, Chester ton remarked about art school that there seemed to be far more artists than people who produced art.
Be sure to check out the whole thing..

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