‘I? What am I?’ roared the President, and he rose slowly to an incredible height, like some enormous wave about to arch above them and break. 'You want to know what I am, do you? Bull, you are a man of science. Grub in the roots of those trees and find out the truth about them. Syme, you are a poet. Stare at those morning clouds. But I tell you this, that you will have found out the truth of the last tree and the topmost cloud before the truth about me. You will understand the sea, and I shall be still a riddle; you shall know what the stars are, and not know what I am. Since the beginning of the world all men have hunted me like a wolf - kings and sages, and poets and lawgivers, all the churches, and all the philosophers. But I have never been caught yet, and the skies will fall in the time I turn to bay. I have given them a good run for their money, and I will now.’
The rare, strange thing is to hit the mark; the gross, obvious thing is to miss it. We feel it is epical when man with one wild arrow strikes a distant bird. Is it not also epical when man with one wild engine strikes a distant station? Chaos is dull; because in chaos the train might indeed go anywhere, to Baker Street or to Bagdad. But man is a magician, and his whole magic is in this that he does say Victoria, and lo! It is Victoria. No, take your books of mere poetry and prose; let me read a time table, with tears of pride. Take your Byron, who commemorates the defeats of man; give me Bradshaw, who commemorates his victories. Give me Bradshaw, I say!
Gabriel Syme, a character in G.K. Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday
I would like to finance a modern adaptation of The Man Who Was Thursday where it’s about a bunch of tumblr anarchists who are all secretly trolls trying to bait each other into making increasingly extreme posts.
YES VERY MUCH SO
I’m almost finished it and I just!!! Wow. Wow. I feel the need to reread it immediately bc there’s so much my mind didn’t grasp the first way through (and undoubtedly each time I read it I’ll understand something new, but never grasp it completely)