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Chesterton's best fiction and non-fiction

Plato to MacDonald to Chesterton, Tolkien and the Boys in the Pub.

Re: Chesterton's best fiction and non-fiction

Postby Acrux » 09 Nov 2009, 20:45

I'd just like to mention The Napoleon of Notting Hill as well. I find it to be more accessible and funnier than Thursday, although it too is good.
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Re: Chesterton's best fiction and non-fiction

Postby EvaInnocent » 14 Nov 2009, 20:48

I love Chesterton and I admit that his book MANALIVE changed my life. Honestly, most people I know who have read it don't understand why I love it so much. There is so much to it.
Chesterton has been called "the Apostle of Common Sense." I believe this; apostle comes from apostolos, which means one who is sent forth with a mission. His mission was spreading common sense. Common Sense is light--but light in the form of lightning. The thing is, we can be so shocked at Common Sense when it comes to us that we could easily call it "Uncommon Sense."
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Re: Chesterton's best fiction and non-fiction

Postby Dr. U » 14 Nov 2009, 21:58

MANALIVE - I haven't heard of that book by Chesterton. Is that one of his novels or one of his non-fiction works?
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Re: Chesterton's best fiction and non-fiction

Postby Sven » 14 Nov 2009, 22:20

Novel. If you want to get an idea of what it's like, it's available at Project Gutenberg, here.
Rat! he found breath to whisper, shaking. Are you afraid?
Afraid? murmured the Rat, his eyes shining with unutterable love.
Afraid! Of Him? O, never, never! And yet -- and yet -- O, Mole, I am afraid!
Then the two animals, crouching to the earth, bowed their heads and did worship.
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Re: Chesterton's best fiction and non-fiction

Postby EvaInnocent » 15 Nov 2009, 01:18

Manalive is a novel in two parts about a man named Innocent Smith. He seems to be an enigma—only because he is simple. He seems insane—only because he is actually saner than the other characters. He “breaks out” while the other characters “break in.” He is the “Cosmic Man” archetype. He comes into the story along with a great wind “that blows nobody any harm.” This wind seems to blow the cobwebs from the minds of the other characters and bring them to a new understanding of what it means to be alive.
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Re: Chesterton's best fiction and non-fiction

Postby rusmeister » 15 Nov 2009, 02:14

If you go to the links provided in the OP, you can find out a great deal about Manalive and much of GKC's works. The site is a great "Chesterton for Dummies" site, the other site has direct links to a majority of his (free and online!) works.

Some people get the false impression that he is unnecessarily long-winded, or that his paradoxes and parallels are just clever tricks, or other inaccurate impressions. I strongly recommend Hilaire Belloc's essay "On the Place of Chesterton in English Letters" to people who have already discovered GKC: it explains how Chesterton really is unique and what makes him, not merely another writer that you would choose because you "have a certain taste", but an extremely relevant writer for our times that leaves even CS Lewis in the dust, so to speak (and I do love Lewis!). Belloc lays out 6 points on which he stands out from the crowd of literary men of our time.
"Eh? Two views? There are a dozen views about everything until you know the answer. Then there's never more than one."
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Re: Chesterton's best fiction and non-fiction

Postby deadwhitemale » 17 Nov 2009, 06:36

To date, the only one of Chesterton's novel-length works I have read in pretty much its entirety is The Man Who Was Thursday. I thought that was pretty great. The chase across circa 1906 France was one of the most suspenseful things I have ever read. No synopsis I could provide could do justice to it. Alan Moore wishes anything in his The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volume III: Century (a.k.a. The League of Extrordinary Gentlemen: Century: 1910) graphic novel set in roughly the same period (1910) was as gripping and edge-of-one's-seat as that. ... I:_Century

Besides that I have read or glanced over several of Chesterton's essays.

BTW (and my apologies if this veers too far off-topic) but the presence and use of swords in many of Chesterton's (and Moore's) works set in the early Twentieth century is not quite as anachronistic as might be supposed.

The U.S. Army adopted a new model cavalry saber (designed by a young George Patton, said to have been heavily influenced by the design of the British 1908 pattern sabre) in 1913, and adopted its last model of naval cutlass in 1917. The shashka, or Cossack sabre definitely saw use before and during the Bolshevik Revolution and afterwards during the Russian Civil War, and was carried at least ceremonially into the Second World War.

Japanese officers carried (and occasionally used) katana (samurai swords) in WW II. The British 3 and 4 Commando units under Lord Lovat are said to have used vintage cutlasses on enemy crewmen during the ship-scuttling raid on Lofoten Island in 1941. And there are reports of American Marines using cutlasses in combat, on land and sea, as late as 1943 or '44. Everyone knows (and knew at the time) that Chesterton sported a real swordstick in public, and this was not that freakish in his day (though it would be highly illegal in most places now).

"It is when we try to grapple with another man's intimate need that we perceive how incomprehensible, wavering, and misty are the beings that share with us the sight of the stars and the warmth of the sun." -- Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim(1899?)
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Re: Chesterton's best fiction and non-fiction

Postby MotherLodeBeth » 27 Jan 2010, 04:45

Here in the states EWTN the Catholic cable channel has a wonderful Chesterton series. The American Chesterton Society produces the program and its like you are actually watching Chesterton speaking. Will watch the show at 8 am Wednesday morning and again on Sunday.

:~:Am very much like Lucy in that I
am plain but trust the Lord with all
my heart:~:
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Re: Chesterton's best fiction and non-fiction

Postby Matthew Whaley » 04 Feb 2010, 02:10

Hi, I would like to add his poem, The Ballad Of The White Horse. I found it enjoyable to read even though it is a long. Alfred, King of Wessex has interested me ever since I was in elementary school. Thank you for the link, Beth!
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