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Chesterton's pockets


May 17 2010, 8:48pm

Post #1 of 7 (410 views)
Chesterton's pockets Can't Post

I've done a little poking around online, and using the Search here, and haven't seen anything, so beg pardon if I'm rehashing a topic ... I've been reading some of G.K. Chesterton's essays, and was astonished - and delighted - by - well, all of them, but in particular one called http://grammar.about.com/...ays/a/chalkessay.htm - "A Piece of Chalk". From what I can see, Tolkien was familiar with GKC's work, and so was Dorothy L. Sayers; I can't help but wonder about whether this particular essay could have influenced both of them. Or, of course, it could be pure coincidence.

For DLS: suffice to say without spoiling anything that something in this essay is almost exactly identical to something that helped give Lord Peter the tip that an artist's death was murder, not accident, in The Five Red Herrings. (Perhaps the question isn't whether DLS read Chesterton, which I believe there are references to say she did, but whether Lord Peter read Chesterton ... )

And for Tolkien: "I put the brown paper in my pocket along with the chalks, and possibly other things. I suppose every one must have reflected how primeval and how poetical are the things that one carries in one's pocket; the pocket-knife, for instance, the type of all human tools, the infant of the sword. Once I planned to write a book of poems entirely about things in my pockets. But I found it would be too long; and the age of the great epics is past." OK, now it's not quite the epiphany it was when I first read it, but still - "What have I got in my pocket?"

Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere.

- G. K. Chesterton

I believe in getting into hot water; it keeps you clean.

- also GKC


May 18 2010, 3:06am

Post #2 of 7 (237 views)
All I can say is... [In reply to] Can't Post

i love Father Brown.

Permanent address: Into the West

Must. Have. The Precious! Give us the Blu-ray Ultimate Box Set!

Ethel Duath

May 18 2010, 3:42am

Post #3 of 7 (234 views)
I had no idea . . . [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you for posting this! I read one of his mysteries, but couldn't "get into" it.

This is astounding.Smile

It reminds me of an event in C. S. Lewis's "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader," where Lucy is turning the pages of a book of magic spells, and comes across a story for "the refreshment of the spirit." That's what this is.


May 18 2010, 4:13am

Post #4 of 7 (232 views)
Alfred Hitchcock [In reply to] Can't Post

Hitchcock was an admirer of Chesterton, that is, according to Donald Spoto, author of The Dark Side of Genius: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock. Interesting idea that Tolkien may have been a fan as well.

Either way, you provide a great Tolkien quote: "the pocket-knife... the infant of the sword," priceless!

Ethel Duath

May 18 2010, 3:07pm

Post #5 of 7 (220 views)
I also wouldn't be surprised [In reply to] Can't Post

if Tolkien had run across that passage! I guess we'll never know, but it did "pop out" at me, too.Smile


May 18 2010, 4:22pm

Post #6 of 7 (241 views)
Heh - and there's also: [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnLine/20721/: What I Found In My Pocket. (Sorry for pop-ups)

Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere.

- G. K. Chesterton

I believe in getting into hot water; it keeps you clean.

- also GKC

Tol Eressea

May 18 2010, 4:35pm

Post #7 of 7 (307 views)
I especially like this line [In reply to] Can't Post

"your pencil grows red-hot, it draws roses; when it grows white-hot, it draws stars."

"There are some things that it is better to begin than to refuse, even though the end may be dark."


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