Parliament of Fools

Welcome! We fools are a mish-mash of lovers of the English language. Pull up a computer chair, and imagine with us that you're sitting by the fire in a local cafe. Sip your cyber-cappucino and discuss with us your thoughts on our latest reading assignment. Hopefully we'll experience all the joy of reading together, without the cost of Starbucks.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

I'm really enjoying this

I like Chesterton and I'm wondering if these stories are representative of the bulk of his fiction? It is not similar to most things I would choose to read on my own, so I'm still getting my feet wet with what to look for, the patterns, the symbolism. Like you mentioned, QOC, there is significant use of imagery, like the lanterns, and the old abbey that the "Red Moon" takes place in. But I still feel like I'm missing out on something.

What are your tips for reading Chesterton? I have picked up on his style of prose, but I want to get deeper into it. I know it's all light-hearted, but there are deep issues involved at the same time.


  • At 9:19 AM, Blogger Queen of Carrots said…

    Hmm . . . for me reading Chesterton for the first time was sort of like falling in love, so it's kind of hard for me to think of specific tips. ;-) (DOB was lucky that Chesterton was already dead.)

    The stories are a good introduction to his fiction. Most of his longer fictional works are quite a bit more surreal.

    Chesterton, whether writing fiction or nonfiction, always seems to center around paradoxes, most especially the paradoxes of the Christian faith, and through that lens of life in general. In the fiction, the paradox is often expressed in a situation or image. Like the way Sir Arthur thinks he is firing at--i.e. destroying--Gwynne, when he is in fact destroying himself. Or indeed Father Brown's confession to being the murderer.

    I find most writers that really have things to say only have a few; they keep coming back round to the same few important things. After reading several of their writings, you start to get a feel for what they are driving at and then it starts to click. Anyway, that's the way I approach it. Don't know if it's helpful at all.

  • At 11:22 AM, Blogger Devona said…

    No, it is helpful. I guess it's just encouragement that I might have been picking it up after all.

    Chesterton really has his own flavor, and I think that's important. I want to read an author and say, "Oh that's so-and-so."

    I'm still reading on, and I'll make my decision as to how much more Chesterton I'll be reading at the end.

    I might have to read something longer, I'm in the mood for surreal.

  • At 10:34 AM, Blogger Rev. Alex Klages said…

    The trick for reading Chesterton is to have a pint of good beer with you whilst you read. In this way, you really are able to get into his headspace.

    Only partly kidding, I remain...
    Rev. Alex Klages


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