Quotation for the week: Chesterton

A fairly well-known remark this week, from the writer G. K. Chesterton — today remembered mostly as a poet and writer of the “Father Brown” detective stories, but in his own time known as a vigorous polemicist with an enthusiasm for apparent paradoxes. Here’s his take on the risks of rationality:

Imagination does not breed insanity. Exactly what does breed insanity is reason. Poets do not go mad; but chess-players do. Mathematicians go mad, and cashiers; but creative artists very seldom. I am not, as will be seen, in any sense attacking logic: I only say that this danger does lie in logic, not in imagination.

(Orthodoxy, 1908, chapter II)


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