Monday, June 23, 2008

Summer Chesterton project

This summer, I intend to re-read all of Chesterton's articles for the Illustrated London News - 10 volumes, published by Ignatius Press, and 30 years' worth of essays. I always enjoyed these volumes, because they're an interesting time capsule of life in England (and Europe) just before, during and after the Great War, filtered of course through Chesterton's sensibility. He was interested in so many things, he provides a window into what was making the headlines at the time, and what people were thinking and talking about at that time.

This time, I'm going to copy out all the passages that I really enjoy. The first time through, I just dog-eared the pages of essays that struck me, but there is so much to read, I find it's now almost impossible to find again a quote or essay when I need it. So this will be a sort of Commonplace Book, but only devoted to one author. I found the most interesting years of Chesterton's journalism were the early 1920s, when he was converting to Catholicism (those are the volumes with the BIGGEST number of turned-down pages). But even the early essays, from 1905 and 1906, which I'm reading right now, contain very good insights. Often they're of the plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose variety; the urge to suppress freedom of speech was strong 100 years ago. I'll post any that strike my fancy as worth sharing.

1 Comments:

Blogger Daniel Muller said...

Speaking for myself, I will be reading with considerable interest.

2:18 pm  

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