Thursday, March 31, 2011

I learned more from a three minute record

I've had this album, "The Criminal Under My Own Hat" by T-Bone Burnett for years. It's only just now, while leafing through a new biography of G.K. Chesterton, that I happened on this quote from one of his Father Brown stories:
"No man’s really any good till he knows how bad he is, or might be; till he’s realized exactly how much right he has to all this snobbery, and sneering, and talking about ‘criminals,’ as if they were apes in a forest ten thousand miles away; till he’s got rid of all the dirty self-deception of talking about low types and deficient skulls; till he’s squeezed out of his soul the last drop of the oil of the Pharisees; till his only hope is somehow or other to have captured one criminal, and kept him safe and sane under his own hat."


  1. Great quote. Not familiar with Chesterton I must admit but even that short passage has intrigued me.

  2. Typical Chesterton, using the code-word 'Pharisees' to cloak his noxious anti-semitism.

  3. I can honestly say I haven't a drop of the oil of the Pharisees on me.

  4. It's good of GK - a great writer, see "A Piece Of Chalk" - to admit that his soul even contains drops of Pharisee oil.