"All words are symbols that represent unspeakable realities. Which is also why words are magical." (Donald Miller tweet)

Monday, April 20, 2009

literary lunacy

"All these things, as I say, the professor had invented; he had invented everything in the flying ship, with the exception, perhaps, of himself. This he had been born too late actually to inaugurate, but he believed, at least, that he had considerably improved it."

And so begins the newest of my G. K. Chesterton books. Oh, the full, unapologetic use of language! Oh, the ironic British wit! Oh, the level of intelligence, wrapped in childlike fantasy!

(Oh, the lack of people with whom to share my delight!)

It is a thin volume, but I will savour every word of it. As I am home alone at the moment, I am reading it aloud, as if in a performance. I can't help it. It deserves to be performed, not skimmed. Millhouse stares balefully at me, as my voice rises and falls. He's not impressed (and neither am I, actually) with my terrible attempt at a British accent.

Nevertheless. I am becoming a bit of a lunatic for G. K. Chesterton. Mondays are for lunacy, and I am taking full advantage of the opportunity.

I leave you with the end of chapter 1:

"A fierce inspiration fell on the monk suddenly....and the first three words he spoke in a voice like a silver trumpet, held men as still as stones. Perhaps if he had spoken there for an hour in his illumination he might have founded a religion on Ludgate Hill. But the heavy hand of his guide fell suddenly on his shoulder.

'This poor fellow is dotty,' he said good-humouredly to the crowd. 'I found him wandering in the Cathedral. Says he came in a flying ship. Is there a constable to spare to take care of him?'

There was a constable to spare....And they took the happiest man in the world away to an asylum."


Janer said...

Huzzah Huzzah the unabashed use of language!!
Good for you for recognizing that it calls to be read aloud and following that impulse!
Chesterton rocks oratorially!

Patti said...

I'm pretty sure it's due, in part at least, to your influence on me.


vjc said...

Chesterton? Or Douglas Adams?

Mondays are exactly for that sort of thing and Millhouse will just have to add it to his Monday list as well.

Good for you, Patti!

I'm into Emerson right now, myself...

Meredith said...

Thumbs up. And well said about how he writes.

"the red town" is one of my favorite shorter pieces by him.

jarod said...

Sounds similar to CS Lewis and the space trilogy.

Anyways, awesome.