Friday, March 19, 2010

G. K. Chesterton and Leigh Brackett

A quotation from Chesterton:-

"These writers may tell short stories, but we feel they are only parts of a long story. And herein lies the peculiar significance, the peculiar sacredness even, of penny dreadfuls and the common printed matter made for our errand-boys. Here in dim and desperate forms under the ban of our base culture, stormed at by silly magistrates, sneered at by silly schoolmasters here is the old popular literature still popular; here is the old unmistakable voluptuousness, the thousand and one tales of Robin Hood. Here is the splendid and static boy, the boy who remains a boy through a thousand volumes and a thousand years. Here in mere alleys and dim shops, shadowed and shamed by the police, mankind is still driving its dark trade of heroes. And elsewhere in all other ages in braver fashion, under cleaner skies, the same eternal tale-telling goes on; and the whole mortal world is a factory of immortals. "

and Brackett, from The Best of Planet Stories

"'“Planet, unashamedly, published ‘space opera’. Space opera, as every reader doubtless knows, is a pejorative term often applied to a story that has an element of adventure. Over the decades, brilliant and talented new writers appear, receiving great acclaim, and each and every one of them can be expected to write at least one article stating flatly that the day of space opera is over and done, thank goodness, and that henceforward these crude tales of interplanetary nonsense will be replaced by whatever type of story that writer happens to favor — closet dramas, psychological dramas, sex dramas, etc., but by God important dramas, containing nothing but Big Thinks. Ten years later, the writer in question may or may not still be around, but the space opera can be found right where it always was, sturdily driving its dark trade in heroes.”'"

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