Monday, May 23, 2011

Enthusiastic, joyful, seriousness

Appreciating—enjoying—G.K. Chesterton, but not necessarily the biography of GKC by Ian Ker he is reviewing here, Robert Douglas-Fairhurst:
.... Everything about Chesterton was larger than life: his height, his bulk, and a list of publications long enough to stock a small library. In a career spanning four decades, he produced some 80 books, 200 short stories, 4,000 essays and countless newspaper columns that he dictated while chuckling at his own jokes and jabbing at the air with a knife. A “man of colossal genius”, according to G B Shaw, he sometimes seemed to have several other writers nested inside him like Russian dolls. ....

.... A true democrat, he was interested in everything and brought the same infectious enthusiasm to lampposts or the colour grey that he did to more obviously ambitious essays such as “The Plan for a New Universe”.

His most famous fictional creation took this principle even further, because the skill of his detective Father Brown lies in noticing what everyone else had missed, but everything Chesterton wrote was based on the same “ecstasy of the ordinary”. He described the world with all the wonder of Adam naming the creatures in Eden. .... [more]
G K Chesterton: A Biography by Ian Ker: review - Telegraph