Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Currently reading "The Everlasting Man"...

I stumbled upon G.K. Chesterton first via his fiction. His novel "The Man Who Was Thursday" was on some list somewhere, and the subject matter intrigued me - so I bought the book and read it. Needless to say, I was baffled after turning the last page of the tome. Chesterton tends to do that to people. I then read his novel "Man Alive" and chuckled as the storyline progressed.

That was the extent of my Chesterton experience until my cable TV service started airing EWTN about five or six years ago (I now get EWTN via DishTV satellite). EWTN would begin airing this 1/2-hour series entitled "G.K. Chesterton: The Apostle of Common Sense", hosted by Dale Ahlquist. This broadened my world to the even broader world of G.K. Chesterton. I bought Dale's introductory book of the same name, which then lead me to reading "Orthodoxy", "St. Francis of Assisi", "The Flying Inn", Dale's second book "Common Sense 101", and then joining the American Chesterton Society (with it's offering of "Gilbert!" magazine).

When I started this blog some four years ago I chose the title "Arbiter of Common Sense" as a hat-tip to Chesterton. I even met Dale Ahlquist once about a year and a half ago when he came to my town to give a talk on all things Chesterton; had the chance to chat with him over breakfast at that morning's event, and bought his second book (which he graciously signed).

I've given a copy of "The Complete Father Brown Stories" as well as "Common Sense 101" to my Dad, and "The Everlasting Man" to one of my brother's, as gifts. Finally, I got around to buying that last book for myself - having just started reading it this past week (only a couple chapters in) - and have been struck by the powerful precision with which Chesterton presents his arguments.

Sitting on my bookshelves are several more G.K. tomes waiting patiently for my fingers to split open and turn their pages, including: "The Ball and The Cross", "St. Thomas Aquinas", "Heretics", and the "Collected Works" Volumes 4 and 5. Eventually I'll get his to his "Collected Works" Volumes 3, 20 and 21, "Tremendous Trifles", "A Miscellany of Men", and "The Well and The Shallows", but I think it might be awhile before I get to them.

If you haven't read any G.K. Chesterton, START! For fiction, start with "Man Alive" or the "Father Brown" stories. For non-fiction, delve into "The Everlasting Man". For a great overview, read Dale's two books. Watch the TV series on EWTN, or buy the DVDs. Join the American Chesterton Society and not only get "Gilbert!" magazine, but also member discounts on all the books!

You can thank me later.

~Trubador: The Arbiter of Common Sense

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