Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Chesterton and Uncommon Sense

Dr. Thursday searched Chesterton for us and discovered some uses of the words "uncommon sense":
The fact that Thomism is the philosophy of common sense is itself a matter of common sense. Yet it wants a word of explanation, because we
have so long taken such matters in a very uncommon sense. STA CW2:513

Aesop embodies an epigram not uncommon in human history; his fame is all the more deserved because he never deserved it. The firm foundations of common sense, the shrewd shots of uncommon sense, that characterize all the Fables, belong not to him but to humanity. Intro to Aesop's Fables in Spice of Life 61 also GKC as MC 83

Ward's GKC 389 in his letter to Shaw:
June 12th, 1915
I ought to have written to you a long time ago, to thank you for your kind letter which I received when I had recovered and still more for many other kindnesses that seem to have come from you during the time before the recovery. I am not a vegetarian; and I am only in a very comparative sense a skeleton. Indeed I am afraid you must reconcile yourself to the dismal prospect of my being more or less like what I was before; and any resumption of my ordinary habits must necessarily include the habit of disagreeing with you. What and where and when is "Uncommon Sense about the War?"

ILN August 13, 1932:

The mood of the moment in literature, or at least in fashionable literature, seems to be rather a queer one. At the best, it tends to the appeal through satire, and yet it is cut off from one of the main conditions of the appeal through satire: the appeal to sense. There is none of the accepted background of common sense against which figures
can be made to look comic and sprawling like caricatures; there is not a test of common sense, but rather a collision of uncommon senses

1 comment:

  1. Ironically, that last quotation seems to anticipate the Marxist/postmodernist critic Frederic Jameson, who has argued, as I understand him, that postmodern, "late capitalist" or "consumer capitalist" culture engages in pastiche (by which he means imitation that doesn't come from a definite critical point of view) instead of parody because there is no longer a controlling norm from which parodies or "caricatures" can strategically deviate.


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