Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Celebrating Chesterton and His Friends

Nancy over at BACS (the Blog of the American Chesterton Society) has proposed a most interesting way to celebrate the blog's first anniversary. Actually, she proposes two things: 1) Nancy insists the celebrant fulfill the requirement of performing some festive physical activity. This is, I suppose, to demonstrate the genuineness of your enthusiasm. A reasonable demand. 2) She also asks you to "play the game" by answering a few questions about one's involvement in Chestertonian studies.

Okay, I'm in.

In fulfillment of the first requirement, I have eaten a roast beef sandwich and quaffed the last of a bottle of Merlot (both remaining from a Christmas dinner party last night with old friends) and ended my repast with a toast to the American Chesterton Society (and its fine blog) and a short but sincere prayer for their good work to continue.

Regarding the second requirement, here are my answers to Nancy's 5 questions.

1. When did you first read a Chesterton book, story, or poem, and which was it?
In 1972, I read the essay “On Running After One’s hat” in the collection The Man Who Was Chesterton. I read this while standing in the darkened stalls of a downtown Omaha used bookstore. I bought the book.

2. What was the most recent of GKC’s writings you read?
“The Turkey and the Turk: A Mummer’s Play.” This is a brief one-act drama that Chesterton wrote for the toy theater. In fact, Claire and I just performed the play last Monday night as part of the festivities at the Christmas party of the Omaha Chesterton Society. We had recorded the parts (and a few sound effects) on a CD beforehand so we could concentrate on character movement and it worked very well. A good time was had by all. (The outline of the theater, by the way, is provided for perspective thetrical producers through ordering the December 2003 [Issue 52] Gilbert Magazine from the American Chesterton Society.)

3. Which is your favorite book, poem – or quote?
The poem “The House of Christmas”

4. Which would you recommend to a beginner?
Depending on the person and circumstances, I usually recommend GKC’s shorter poetry, the novel Manalive, or Orthodoxy.

5. What is the most unusual fact or quirky detail you know about G.K. Chesterton?
How about this -- Alas, the only city in GK’s American tour where he received bad press was Omaha. But then again, pro-life Christians are still getting bad press in this town! One goes on.

If you'd like to read other answers to Nancy's challenge or if you'd like to send along your own, please do. I'm sure she'd love to hear from you. Look here and use the comment section for your response.