Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Right Balance

From Adam Gopnik's CRITIC AT LARGE piece on G.K Chesterton: New Yorker, July 7 & 14, 2008. Unfortunately, available online only as an abstract: HERE
"... Chesterton's point is that childhood is not a time of illusion but a time when illusion and fact exist (as they should) at the same level of consciousness, when the story and the world are equally numinous:... [Here's Chesterton on] watching puppet shows in a toy theater that his father had made for him."
If this were a ruthless realistic modern story, I should of course give a most heart-rending account of how my spirit was broken with disappointment, on discovering that the prince was only a painted figure. But this is not a ruthless realistic modern story. On the contrary, it is a true story. And the truth is that I do not remember that I was in any way deceived or in any way undeceived. The whole point is that I did like the toy theater even when I knew it was a toy theatre. I did like the cardboard figures, even when I found they were of cardboard. The white light of wonder that shone on the whole business was not any sort of trick...

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