Tuesday, June 20, 2006

G.K. Chesterton

I recently listened to a great lecture on G. K. Chesterton by the inimitable George Grant. Having heard it, I rushed, as any sensible person would, to read some Chesterton. I re-read his novel (actually he says it's a nightmare, not a novel) The Man Who Was Thursday. I got more out of it the second time around, as you might expect. Since then, I have read The Flying Inn, Four Faultless Felons, and The Everlasting Man. Chesterton wrote everything: literary criticism, social and political commentary, theology, epic poetry, novels, detective stories (The Father Brown stories, which no mystery lover should deprive himself of), and much more. He is unique in the world, and there is no excuse for a Christian (especially) who, in the Providence of God, lives after the time of Chesterton, not to read this remarkable writer. Besides, he is immensely entertaining. You can also read him without spending money, for much of his work is now in the public domain and available online (click here for a list of his online works, though I hasten to add that a bookshelf or home library without Chesterton is rather like Christmas without gifts and good food). I am also a big fan of his epic poem, The Ballad of the White Horse, about King Alred the Great, which you can also find at the website I just mentioned. And a fine site for an introduction to the man and his work is the American Chesterton Society, for which click here.

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