Tuesday, February 7, 2012

From My Commonplace Book

"Of all the tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely expressed for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent busybodies." ~ C.S. Lewis

"One of the strangest disparities of history lies between the sense of abundance felt by older, simpler societies and the sense of scarcity felt by the ostensibly richer societies of today." ~ Richard Weaver

"We cannot teach citizenship if we are not citizens; we cannot free others if we have forgotten the appetite of freedom. Education is only truth in a state of transmission; and how can we pass on truth if it has never come into our hand." ~ G.K. Chesterton

"We are needy creatures, and our greatest need is for home—the place where we are, where we find protection and love. We achieve this home through representations of our own belonging, not alone but in conjunction with others. All our attempts to make our surroundings look right—through decorating, arranging, creating—are attempts to extend a welcome to ourselves and to those whom we love." ~ Roger Scruton


  1. I always enjoy your commonplace book posts, Martha, and have copied some of your quotes into my own commonplace book. I liked all of these for different reasons, but the one by Roger Scraton struck me as it is very similar (the idea--his language is more eloquent!) to something I shared in a talk I gave last year on Home. Have you read anything Scraton has written on beauty?

  2. No, I haven't. Do you have a recommendation for a good place to start? I just found this documentary, Why Beauty Matters, here: http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/why-beauty-matters/. I'm going to save the link and watch it soon. I would love you hear your talk. Is there a recording or a transcript you'd will willing to share? :-)

    1. (I think I lost my comment so I'm trying again)

      This is the article I was thinking of:


      I read it last year, saved it, and pulled it out this year to re-read and have Andrew read on our National Gallery trip. The documentary looks great--I've bookmarked it. We are documentary nerds around hear, just not much time for viewing.

      I need to look for my transcript on the laptop--which is usually in use, as it is now, by one of our kids. It was a short talk, about 20-25 minutes, which I gave at a women's Christmas dessert last year. Chesterton's poem, The House of Christmas, was one of my inspirations. Home and Beauty are two universal ideas which interest me.

      Scruton has also written a book, Beauty, but I've not yet read it.


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