essays by chesterton.

i have not read chesterton’s fiction but these essays make me think i should.

THE SLAVERY OF FREE VERSE
free-verse has turned poetry into “virtuoso triviality,” of which i am particularly guilty. even though poetic form after the twentieth century and in the twenty-first century is lost to us, chesterton’s essay makes it seem like something worth searching for, in the sense of a freudian lost object.

THE ROMANCE OF RHYME
the modernist and postmodernist abhorrence and / or fear of rhyme should spend an hour or two reading this essay. I read this essay from a Lananian point of view and was impressed; there is an analogy between rhyme and the Real because both return to where they begin (this is not really Nietzschean, is it?). He also points out the subtle or not-so subtle distinction between being pleased and being satisfied in relation to God’s pleasure or satisfaction: “God is easy to please, difficult to satisfy.” This essay is also an attack on free verse.

INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF JOB
still a little bit suspicious of “the unity of the old testament.” i am, however, in solidarity with chesterton’s reading of god as the ultimate skeptic, god as the doubt which provokes if not certainty, then at least happiness.

i’m about half way through his book on chaucer. it is the most unpretentious book or article on chaucer i have read, which is a good thing. i also think his collection of “nonsense poetry and light verse” is highly-childishly amusing thus far.

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