Treating G.K. Chesterton as an authority whose aphorisms can be quoted for any purpose other than amusement is, as Elliot Milco maintains, silly. One might as well treat Edward Lear as an authority. (Though an exception should be made for literary matters, an area where he wrote with real expertise; we owe our current appreciation of Dickens more to Chesterton than to anyone else.) But Chesterton was a genius of some kind. So I don’t think his hot-headed combox supporters need retreat an inch. After the posts of last week that roused the fury of the readers of this website, however, some clarification of the nature of his project might be valuable.
What is that particular project? When his writing works the way it’s supposed to, criticisms like Elliot’s miss the point entirely. Like a poet, Chesterton wants to write directly against the brain, as it were, without using propositions as intermediaries. But his specific targets are philosophical, not sensory, and of course his work is not really literature any more than it’s philosophy.