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"Let no man deceive himself; if by vulgarity we mean coarseness of speech, rowdiness of behavior, gossip, horseplay, and some heavy drinking, vulgarity there always was wherever there was joy, wherever there was faith in the gods.

And as creed and mythology produce this gross and vigorous life, so in its turn this gross and vigorous life will always produce creed and mythology."

 

- G. K. Chesterton

"Without the high and noble, the simple and vulgar is utterly mean.

 

Without the simple and ordinary, the noble and heroic is meaningless."

 

- J. R. R. Tolkien

"Vulgarity [as a literary virtue] is the willingness to sacrifice style and polish to a purpose, that purpose being the conveying of a kind of wonder and excitement that could not be made to exist in any other way."

 

- Frederick Pohl

"We can find truth merely by referring to vulgar literature - its unfailing fountain."

 

- G. K. Chesterton

"I think that [in reading,] the highlights chosen by his elders and the wide area of ordinary country explored on his own, are both necessary elements in a man's education."

 

- C. S. Lewis

"I love the vulgar and simple as dearly as the noble; and nothing moves my heart (beyond all the passions and heartbreaks of the world) so much as 'ennoblement' (from The Ugly Duckling to Frodo)."

 

- J. R. R. Tolkien

"A certain portion of this divine spirit is visible even in the lower examples of all the true men; it is, indeed, perhaps, the clearest test of their belonging to the true and great group, that they are continually touching what to the multitude appear vulgarities."

 

- John Ruskin

"It is essential that we should first be well steeped in the 'homeliness', the frivolity, even (in its best sense) the vulgarity of the Hobbits; these unambitious folk, peaceable yet almost anarchical, with faces 'good natured rather than beautiful' and 'mouths apt to laughter and eating', who treat smoking as an art and like books which tell them what they already know."

 

- C. S. Lewis

"My theme is the relation of ordinary life (breathing, eating, working, begetting) to quests, sacrifice, causes, and the longing for Elves and sheer beauty."

 

- J. R. R. Tolkien

"The flamboyant gesture, the uninhibited emotion fully articulated in eloquent speech, are suspect [now]. They were first driven away by the Victorian idea of the Strong Silent Man and the Stiff Upper Lip, and the collapse of that ideal into mere cynicism has banished them still further. Irony and suspicion have suffered a hypertrophy.

 

Tragedy is certainly a different thing from melodrama; but I doubt whether those who are not prepared to risk the one can ever make, act, or fully enjoy the other."

 

- C. S. Lewis

"I believe firmly in the value of all vulgar notions,  especially of vulgar jokes. When once you have got hold of a vulgar joke, you may be certain that you have got hold of a subtle and spiritual idea."

 

- G. K. Chesterton