...the best way to destroy a Utopia is to establish it.
from a lecture in Toronto Canada in 1930 called 'Culture and the Coming Peril'
...The wheel is an animal that is always standing on its head...Or if the phrase be more exact,
it is an animal that is always turning head over heels and progressing by this principle...
A wheel is the sublime paradox;
one part of it is always going forward and the other part always going back...
Alarms and Discursions
...to be clever enough to get all that money, one must be stupid enough to want it.
The Paradise of Thieves
...And the burden of it is the burden of Palestine...A voice not of my reason, but
rather sounding heavily in my heart, seemed to be repeating sentences like pessimistic
proverbs. There is no place for the Temple of Solomon but on the ruins of the Mosque
of Omar. There is no place for the nation of the Jews but in the country of the Arabs.
And these whispers came to me first not as intellectual conclusions upon the conditions
of the case...but rather as hints of something immediate and menacing and mysterious.
I felt almost a momentary impulse to flee from the place, like one who has received an
omen. For two voices had met in my ears; and within the same narrow space and in
the same dark hour, electric and yet eclipsed with cloud,
I had heard Islam crying from the turret and Israel wailing at the wall.
The New Jerusalem (written in 1926)
Suppose whenever a man lit a cigarette, a towering genie arose from the ring of smoke
and followed him everywhere as a huge slave. Suppose whenever a man whistled a
tune he 'drew an angel down' and had to walk about for ever with a seraph on a string.
These catastrophic images are but faint parallels to the earthquake consequences that
Nature has attached to sex...
What's Wrong with the World
Bernard Shaw (I strongly suspect) began to disbelieve in Santa Claus at a discreditably
early age...When he says that Christmas Day is only kept up by wine merchants from
strictly business motives, then he says something which is not so much false as startlingly
and arrestingly foolish. He might as well say that the two sexes were invented by jewelers
who wanted to sell wedding rings.
George Bernard Shaw
Mr. Pond's paradoxes were of a very peculiar kind. They were indeed
paradoxical defiances even of the law of paradox. Paradox has been
defined as "Truth standing on her head to attract attention."
Paradox has been defended; on the ground that so many fashionable
fallacies still stand firmly on their feet, because they have no
heads to stand on. But it must be admitted that writers, like
other mendicants and mountebanks, frequently do try to attract
attention. They set out conspicuously, in a single line in a play,
or at the head or tail of a paragraph, remarks of this challenging
kind; as when Mr. Bernard Shaw wrote: "The Golden Rule is that
there is no Golden Rule"; or Oscar Wilde observed: "I can resist
everything except temptation"; or a duller scribe (not to be named
with these and now doing penance for his earlier vices in the
nobler toil of celebrating the virtues of Mr. Pond) said in defense
of hobbies and amateurs and general duffers like himself: "If a
thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly." To these things do
writers sink; and then the critics tell them that they "talk for
effect"; and then the writers answer: "What the devil else should
we talk for? Ineffectualness?" It is a sordid scene.
When Doctors Agree from The Paradoxes of Mr. Pond
Newspapers pay the penalty of the blind idolatry of speed. They go
so fast that they never notice anything; and they have to make up
their minds so quickly that they never make them up at all.
Collected Works - XXVII - page 463 - St. Ignatius Press
Fiction means the common things as seen by the uncommon people.
Fairy tales mean the uncommon things as seen by the common people.
Collected Works - XV - page 86 - St. Ignatius Press
But if we all know now, at last, where we really are going to, and where
science and statesmanship are leading us; and if it is quite obviously to
an enormous lunatic asylum, let us at least, by the grace of God, go there
in company with a man who has a sense of humor.
Preface to A Book of Drawings by H.M. Bateman - Metheun & Co. - published in 1921
And what is true of St. Francis is more true of this divine model; men can
admire perfect charity before they practice even imperfect charity; and that is
by far the most practical way of getting them to practice it. It is not to leave
men merely staring at each other and standing face to face to criticize and
grow weary; it is rather to see them standing side by side and looking out
together at a third thing; the world's desire and the love affair of all humanity;
which is really a human sun that can shine upon the evil and the good.
Preface to Will Men be like Gods? by O. F. Dudley - Longmans, Green & Co. Ltd. - published in 1924