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The Extraordinary in the Ordinary

Ordinary people have an exciting time, while odd people are always complaining of the dullness of life. This is why the new novel dies so quickly and the old fairy tales endure forever. The old fairy tale makes the hero a normal, human boy. It is his adventures that are startling. They startle him because he is normal. But in the modern psychological novel, the hero is abnormal. The center is not central. You can make a story out of a hero among dragons but not out of a dragon among dragons. The fairy tale discusses what a sane man will do in a mad world.

G. K. Chesterton
G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy (New York: Dodd Mead, 1908), 16.

Our experience of the world has two parts, the sacred and the mundane. The division between the two is not always clear, nor easily understood. But understanding the difference can help us reconcile the two.

The food-gathering method of the Trobriand Islanders illustrates our different approaches to the two realms. The Trobrianders live on atolls off the eastern ...

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