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G.K. Chesterton

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Poll Question: What is your opinion of G.K. Chesterton?
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    Posted: 15 Jan 2010 at 14:18
So one of my favorite authors -- indeed, almost certainly my favorite -- is G.K. Chesterton. His elusive, allusive style is a pleasure to read, and his apologetics are unlike anything produced before or since. They are different in the sense that he does not approach the topic in the typical manner of the point-counterpoint dialectic that has become so pervasive in the modern era. It is a constant annoyance to watch the proliferation of innumerable pamphlets of this sort, filled with authors constantly knocking down pathetic, parodic straw men.
 
But back to the topic. Chesterton was one of the most prolific engaging in history, satire, fiction, drama, poetry, journalism, philosophy, theology, and political science, as well as apologetics. His best known religious works are Heretics (1905), Orthodoxy (1908), and The Everlasting Man (1925). The first is an examination and critique of many of the intellectuals and schools of thought which arose in late Victorian Britain. The second is a sort of spiritual autobiography and apology for the Christian faith. The third is a history, both a rebuttal to H.G. Wells' rationalistic The Outline of History. C.S. Lewis called it the best apologetic he had ever encountered for the Christian faith, and credited Chesterton as the major influence behind the rational side of his conversion.
 
In addition to his religious works, two of his most famous are The Napoleon of Notting Hill (1904), which is a fictional account of the effects of eccentricity on the drab and futuristic London of 1984, and The Man Who Was Thursday (1908), an exciting fictional account of an anarchist cabal that isn't, as well as an allegory on the Sunday Sabbath. Unfortunately, I haven't read any of the Father Brown novels, and am thus unable to comment on them.
 
Anyway, I figured we could all discuss the work and wisdom of G.K. Chesterton -- a man whom even his foes considered a towering genius. Smile
 
-Akolouthos
 
P.S. I debated whether to post this in the Philosophy and Theology subforum or in the Literary Pursuits subforum. As you can see, I decided on the latter. I plan on starting a thread on the theology and philosophy of Chesterton within the week, as his literary output was so broad that we have more than ample material for both topics.


Edited by Akolouthos - 24 Jan 2010 at 01:54
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jan 2010 at 21:45
Ako, I can't believe you never read Father Brown!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gruvawn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jan 2010 at 23:36
i've been a fan for a long time, but i've only read orthodoxy, and the man who was thursday. theres a tv program that comes on ewtn, the catholic network, which is associated with http://chesterton.org/. a lot of great quotes there.
don't believe everything you think. : )
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jan 2010 at 01:51
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Ako, I can't believe you never read Father Brown!
 
I've just never been much of a mystery guy, but I do love his style. Do you think I would be able to get into them?
 
-Akolouthos
 
P.S. I just noticed that I had History of the World, instead of The Outline of History for Wells' work. A bit too much Mel Brooks for me, eh? LOL


Edited by Akolouthos - 24 Jan 2010 at 01:55
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jan 2010 at 03:07
I think you'd love them. But you might not want to read too many at once.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jan 2010 at 03:36
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

I think you'd love them. But you might not want to read too many at once.
 
I'll check them out then, and I'll certainly take your advice. That said, I would like to pick them all up at once if there is a complete set published. Do you have a recommendation on the matter?
 
-Akolouthos
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jan 2010 at 06:03
Originally posted by Akolouthos Akolouthos wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

I think you'd love them. But you might not want to read too many at once.
 
I'll check them out then, and I'll certainly take your advice. That said, I would like to pick them all up at once if there is a complete set published. Do you have a recommendation on the matter?
 
-Akolouthos
 
Reading them will not be much of a problem. Though they may now be in "book" form all of the stories are in the "short" format. The Father Brown mysteries were all magazine serials; hence each little narrative is complete within itself. The "short stories" as a whole might constitute five volumes, but each individual tale complete unto itself is little less than a good hour's read. The original book compilations came out during the years:
 
The Innocence of Father Brown [12 stories] (1911); The Wisdom of Father Brown [12 stories] (1914); The Incredulity of Father Brown [8 stories] (1926); The Secret of Father Brown [8 stories] (1927); The Scandal of Father Brown [8 stories] (1935)--the later editions of this tome add a 9th tale, "The Vampire of the Village" which appeared in The Strand magazine the year of Chesterton's death. You need not spend a dime for the any of the tales since they appear in toto on the Internet:
 


Edited by drgonzaga - 24 Jan 2010 at 06:26
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jan 2010 at 06:26
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Originally posted by Akolouthos Akolouthos wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

I think you'd love them. But you might not want to read too many at once.
 
I'll check them out then, and I'll certainly take your advice. That said, I would like to pick them all up at once if there is a complete set published. Do you have a recommendation on the matter?
 
-Akolouthos
 
Reading them will not be much of a problem. Though they may now be in "book" form all of the stories are in the "short" format. The Father Brown mysteries were all magazine serials; hence each little narrative is complete within itself. The "short stories" as a whole might constitute five volumes, but each individual tale complete unto itself is little less than a good hour's read.
 
Good. That's about my attention span. Wink
 
-Akolouthos


Edited by Akolouthos - 24 Jan 2010 at 06:26
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jan 2010 at 06:32
Originally posted by Akolouthos Akolouthos wrote:

 Good. That's about my attention span. Wink
 
-Akolouthos
 
You should have finished one story already if you saw my link.Embarrassed
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote arch.buff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jan 2010 at 07:29
drgonzaga,
 
Thanks for posting the free link to Chesterton's (henceforth GKC. It is true, I usually abhor abbreviation; but, as it happens, it comes as no insult, seeing as how this is the manner in which the great author signed his journalism) Father Brown stories online here at the site. I, too, am slow to excite for mystery novels; but, if the mood should ever strike, I certainly know where to find them.Thumbs Up
 
Ako,
 
If you should ever feel compelled to actually purchase these works in the traditional book form, Ignatius Press has begun a "Collected Works" project for GKC. Volumes 12 (Part 1) and 13 (part 2) comprise, as far as I know, the complete collection of Father Brown.
 
 
If you scroll down to the end of the page you'll find volumes 12 and 13, in both hardcover and softcover.
 
-arch.buff


Edited by arch.buff - 24 Jan 2010 at 07:31
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jan 2010 at 06:26
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Originally posted by Akolouthos Akolouthos wrote:

 Good. That's about my attention span. Wink
 
-Akolouthos
 
You should have finished one story already if you saw my link.Embarrassed
 
LOL
 
I think they'll be my break from the more serious rubbish clogging up my reading queue.
 
Originally posted by arch.buff arch.buff wrote:

Ako,
 
If you should ever feel compelled to actually purchase these works in the traditional book form, Ignatius Press has begun a "Collected Works" project for GKC. Volumes 12 (Part 1) and 13 (part 2) comprise, as far as I know, the complete collection of Father Brown.
 
 
If you scroll down to the end of the page you'll find volumes 12 and 13, in both hardcover and softcover.
 
-arch.buff
 
I was actually familiar with that series before, and if I hadn't been, they were mentioned by that Joshi fellow I mentioned over in the "New Atheists" thread. He snickered condescendingly at the idea that Ignatius Press would waste so much ink on a set of the collected works of Chesterton, and didn't seem at all concerned with the fact that, as things stand now, it doesn't look like anyone is ever going to feel the need to put together the collected works of Joshi. Wink
 
-Akolouthos
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 2010 at 15:43
So I just saw a movie... I suppose it was that (it was quite good), in the Father Brown series. Something from the 1970s about a vicar murdering his brother. I can't recall all that much about it, other than Graham Crowden (sp.?) from Waiting for God, was the brother. Jolly good stuff. I fell asleep during the next episode, which was due more to my exhaustion than to its interesting nature, which was commendable.
 
-Akolouthos
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Justinian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Sep 2010 at 19:37
The only thing I have read of his is What I Saw in America, which I came across recently.  So I really could not give an opinion on your poll question, but I can agree with you on his writing style.  (he is quite engaging)  I am planning to acquaint myself with some of his more seminal works.  (especially after reading the posts in this thread)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2015 at 15:55
I have _not_ read him, I've listened to him, or rather, his work read by an actor.  I have Orthodoxy and have listened to it on the CD player of my car several times.  
I have Everlasting Man, and St. Francis of Assisi, and St Thomas Aquinas.  I almost would rather _hear_ his paradoxical juxtapositions, than read him.  But I guess I'll just have to read him the old fashioned way;) btw, I am Protestant and a philosopher, but admire his Catholic faith.  Not enough to adopt it myself, but it is joy to listen to him.  

From what I am told, Marshall McLuhan enjoyed Chesterton, and one can see with both of them, a certain quickness of language.  
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