Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Return Note About G.K. Chesterton

Dear Gina,

I couldn't agree with you more. As a delighted reader of GKC for decades now, I recommend Chesterton more than any single author -- not because he's necessarily the best for every reader or topic (and not because I'm a co-founder of the Omaha Chesterton Society!), but because "the apostle of common sense" has more wonderful, enlightening things to say about so very many things than anybody else. And he says them with not only his famous paradoxical style but with depth, humility, and rollicking good humor.

Thus, I'll recommend Chesterton to the same fellow to whom I've just recommended Francis Schaeffer whereas, later in the day, I'm suggesting GKC to fans, respectively, of James Thurber, Robert Louis Stevenson, Kenneth Grahame or Malcolm Muggeridge. This is a most unique and magnificent thing.

No, Chesterton isn't right about everything. In particular, I find him a bit naive regarding Distributism and he's frequently unfair and even out to lunch on Puritanism. In addition, he almost assuredly drank too much and his positivity towards the French Revolution makes for a glaring inconsistency in his work.

But, I stand by Chesterton as a friend and admirer...and and one who openly acknowledges the immeasurable worth he has been to me for nearly 4 decades through his wisdom, courage, kindness, and his love of life, truth and humanity.

And, as to your final question, Gina. The latest GKC work I read was his first novel,
Basil Howe, while the next up in the OCS rota is a collection of his essays and articles on life issues and ethics assembled by Ignatius Press entitled Brave New Family.