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a different question about G.K.C.

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  • John Rateliff
    Okay, here s a simple question about Chesterton. If you were going to recommend one, and only one, book by G.K.C. to someone, which one would it be? And why.
    Message 1 of 8 , Mar 21 2:47 PM
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      Okay, here's a simple question about Chesterton.

      If you were going to recommend one, and only one, book by G.K.C. to someone, which one would it be?

      And why.

      --John R.
    • Travis Buchanan
      *Orthodoxy *would be the popular choice I m sure (and ch. 4, The Ethics of Elfland , should be required reading of anyone who subscribes to a list that would
      Message 2 of 8 , Mar 21 5:07 PM
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        Orthodoxy would be the popular choice I'm sure (and ch. 4, 'The Ethics of Elfland', should be required reading of anyone who subscribes to a list that would be so bold as to approximate for itself the adjective 'mythopoeic'). Or for fiction many on this list might say The Man Who Was Thursday. But I would recommend The Everlasting Man. The reason I would give is because it is excellent, and because it is the book by GKC which most influenced C. S. Lewis.

        If you will suffer it, I offer a quotation chosen almost at random, to show the Romantic feeling of this work:

        The tale of the end of Troy shall have no ending, for it is lifted up forever into living echoes, immortal as our hopelessness and our hope. Troy standing was a small thing that may have stood nameless for ages. But Troy falling has been caught up in a flame and suspended in an immortal instant of annihilation; and because it was destroyed with fire the fire shall never be destroyed. And as with the city so with the hero; traced in archaic lines in that primeval twilight is found the first figure of the Knight. There is a prophetic coincidence in his title; we have spoken of the word chivalry and how it seems to mingle the horseman with the horse. It is almost anticipated ages before in the thunder of the Homeric hexameter, and that long leaping word with which the Iliad ends. It is that very unity for which we can find no name but the holy centaur of chivalry. But there are other reasons for giving in this glimpse of antiquity the name upon the sacred town. The sanctity of such towns ran like a fire round the coasts and islands of the northern Mediterranean, the high-fenced hamlet for which heroes died. From the smallness of the city came the greatness of the citizen. Hellas with her hundred statues produced nothing statelier than that walking statue; the ideal of the self-commanding man. Hellas of the hundred statues was one legend and literature; and all that labyrinth of little walled nations resounding with the lament of Troy.


        A later legend, an afterthought but not an accident, said that stragglers from Troy founded a republic on the Italian shore. It was true in spirit that republican virtue had such a root. A mystery of honour, that was not born of Babylon or the Egyptian pride, there shone like the shield of Hector, defying Asia and Africa; till the light of a new day was loosened, with the rushing of the eagles and the coming of the name; the name that came like a thunderclap when the world woke to Rome. (Final two paragraphs of ch. 3, 'The Antiquity of Civilisation')




        Cheers,

        Travis



        Not all those who wander are lost.
                                - J. R. R. Tolkien



        On Wed, Mar 21, 2012 at 9:47 PM, John Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:
         

        Okay, here's a simple question about Chesterton.

        If you were going to recommend one, and only one, book by G.K.C. to someone, which one would it be?

        And why.

        --John R.


      • David Bratman
        ... If the query were made to me in a pub, I would give a copy of _The Man Who Was Thirsty._
        Message 3 of 8 , Mar 21 7:24 PM
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          John Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:

          >If you were going to recommend one, and only one, book by G.K.C. to someone, which
          >one would it be?

          If the query were made to me in a pub, I would give a copy of _The Man Who Was Thirsty._
        • Jef Murray
             For fiction, and as my first choice in general, I d recommend Manalive (rather than The Man Who Was Thursday, which I think would be most folks first
          Message 4 of 8 , Mar 22 6:59 AM
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               For fiction, and as my first choice in general, I'd recommend "Manalive" (rather than
            "The Man Who Was Thursday," which I think would be most folks' first choice
            for fiction).
            It's funny, romantic, quirky, inspiring, thought provoking, and written
            with a wonderful flair for the visual; the images
            linger with you long after you're done with
            the work...one can't ask for better than such a combination.

                             jef


            P.S.  For non-fiction, I'd almost certainly recommend "Orthodoxy". It is Chesterton
            at his absolute best, but it is slow going even for those accustomed to Chesterton,
            and although it is far too rich to digest in one sitting, it is a work that you can come
            back to time and again....

             

            ===================================================================
            Mystical Realms - Exploring the boundaries between worlds.....
                     http://www.JefMurray.com
            ===================================================================
          • Croft, Janet B.
            Oh, you mean _The Flying Inn_? “The rolling English drunkard made the rolling English road…” Janet From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
            Message 5 of 8 , Mar 22 7:57 AM
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              Oh, you mean _The Flying Inn_?

               

              “The rolling English drunkard made the rolling English road…”

               

              Janet

               

              From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of David Bratman
              Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 9:25 PM
              To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [mythsoc] a different question about G.K.C.

               

               

              John Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:

              >If you were going to recommend one, and only one, book by G.K.C. to someone, which
              >one would it be?

              If the query were made to me in a pub, I would give a copy of _The Man Who Was Thirsty._

            • davise@cs.nyu.edu
              No Father Brown enthusiasts? The few I read didn t do much for me, myself, but my impression is that 80 years ago, those would have been the hands-down
              Message 6 of 8 , Mar 23 5:58 AM
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                No Father Brown enthusiasts? The few I read didn't do much for me, myself, but my impression is that 80 years ago, those would have been the hands-down popular favorites. (Or maybe that's just because this is mythsoc and not detectivesoc).

                For non-fiction I again strongly recommend "The Victorian Age in Literature".

                Orwell says that Chesterton's Introductions to Dickens (which is not the same as his critical biography) are "about the best thing he ever wrote". But I don't know if these were ever collected in book form; the only one I've seen is the introduction to Hard Times, which happens to be the one that Orwell discusses.

                -- Ernie


                --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, John Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:
                >
                > Okay, here's a simple question about Chesterton.
                >
                > If you were going to recommend one, and only one, book by G.K.C. to someone, which one would it be?
                >
                > And why.
                >
                > --John R.
                >
              • Bill West
                Count me a Father Brown fan. I had torn through all the Sherlock Holmes canon in one weekend after surgery when I was 12 and looked for more. One of the
                Message 7 of 8 , Mar 23 8:20 AM
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                  Count me a "Father Brown" fan. I had torn through all the Sherlock Holmes canon in one weekend after surgery when I was 12 and looked for more. One of the Father Brown stories was in our English class textbook at the Catholic school I attended that autumn and I straightaway hunted
                  down a collection of the rest at the local library.

                  Bill


                  On Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 8:58 AM, <davise@...> wrote:
                   

                  No Father Brown enthusiasts? The few I read didn't do much for me, myself, but my impression is that 80 years ago, those would have been the hands-down popular favorites. (Or maybe that's just because this is mythsoc and not detectivesoc).

                  For non-fiction I again strongly recommend "The Victorian Age in Literature".

                  Orwell says that Chesterton's Introductions to Dickens (which is not the same as his critical biography) are "about the best thing he ever wrote". But I don't know if these were ever collected in book form; the only one I've seen is the introduction to Hard Times, which happens to be the one that Orwell discusses.

                  -- Ernie

                  --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, John Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Okay, here's a simple question about Chesterton.
                  >
                  > If you were going to recommend one, and only one, book by G.K.C. to someone, which one would it be?
                  >
                  > And why.
                  >
                  > --John R.
                  >


                • David Bratman
                  I found the Father Brown stories terminally annoying. Father Brown reaches his conclusions through his intuition into human nature. But human nature, even
                  Message 8 of 8 , Mar 23 9:31 AM
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                    I found the Father Brown stories terminally annoying. Father Brown reaches his conclusions through his intuition into human nature. But human nature, even more than the obscure physical facts which allow Sherlock Holmes to leap to unjustified but somehow always accurate conclusions, is not scientifically rigid or invariable. Father Brown's conclusions are likely and would be the way to bet, but he has no call to be as serenely confident in their infallibility as he is (even Holmes presents his ideas as more tentative), and while he could turn out to be right more often than not, he couldn't always be right. But he is. We're missing the 30%, at least, of Father Brown stories in which his intuition falls flat on its face.


                    -----Original Message-----
                    >From: davise@...
                    >Sent: Mar 23, 2012 5:58 AM
                    >To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                    >Subject: [mythsoc] Re: a different question about G.K.C.
                    >
                    >No Father Brown enthusiasts? The few I read didn't do much for me, myself, but my impression is that 80 years ago, those would have been the hands-down popular favorites. (Or maybe that's just because this is mythsoc and not detectivesoc).
                    >
                    >For non-fiction I again strongly recommend "The Victorian Age in Literature".
                    >
                    >Orwell says that Chesterton's Introductions to Dickens (which is not the same as his critical biography) are "about the best thing he ever wrote". But I don't know if these were ever collected in book form; the only one I've seen is the introduction to Hard Times, which happens to be the one that Orwell discusses.
                    >
                    >-- Ernie
                    >
                    >
                    >--- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, John Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:
                    >>
                    >> Okay, here's a simple question about Chesterton.
                    >>
                    >> If you were going to recommend one, and only one, book by G.K.C. to someone, which one would it be?
                    >>
                    >> And why.
                    >>
                    >> --John R.
                    >>
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >------------------------------------
                    >
                    >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.orgYahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >
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