Monday, May 15, 2006

ACS Conference Secret

I got a mailing today from the ACS asking me to come to the conference, did you get yours?

I'm already signed up, so I just browsed throught the brochure, looking forward to some great speakers.

But I know a secret about the conference, a presentation that will be made, that's not on the brochure!

Which is appropriate, because one of the really fun things I'm looking forward to is a live production of Chesterton's play called "The Surprise" which was never produced during his lifetime.

I'll tell you when: Right before Joseph Pearce talk. (Which is right before "The Surprise" is staged.)
I'll tell you who: A twelve year old Chestertonian.
I'll tell you what: Something about The Ballad of the White Horse
I'll tell you what else: It will bring you to tears. Or at least, the women in the audience. Maybe even the men. It will be that amazing and surprising.

I hope you're coming, because it will be a real treat.


  1. By the way, the 12 year old Chestertonian will be turning 13 a few weeks before the Conference.

  2. Ah! That's good to know for introductions sake!
    Well, as you know, I can't wait for this! (And I did actually get tears in my eyes the first time I heard was so incredible.)

  3. Just keep turning the knife, Nancy. Just keep turning the knife.


  4. Is the theme "Best of all Impossible Worlds" a line from GKC himself? I ask because I remember using that line in a college essay, and I'd hate to think I inadvertently plagiarized it. I was aiming for a Chestertonian take on Voltaire's Pangloss.

  5. It is, perhaps, the strongest mark of the divinity of man that he talks of this world as "a strange world," though he has seen no other. We feel that all there is is eccentric, though we do not know what is the centre. This sentiment of the grotesqueness of the universe ran through Dickens's brain and body like the mad blood of the elves. He saw all his streets in fantastic perspectives, he saw all his cockney villas as top heavy and wild, he saw every man's nose twice as big as it was, and every man's eyes like saucers. And this was the basis of his gaiety - the only real basis of any philosophical gaiety. This world is not to be justified as it is justified by the mechanical optimists; it is not to be justified as the best of all possible worlds. Its merit is not that it is orderly and explicable; its merit is that it is wild and utterly unexplained. Its merit is precisely that none of us could have conceived such a thing, that we should have rejected the bare idea of it as miracle and unreason. It is the best of all impossible worlds.
    [GKC CW15:203]

  6. Sorry, Furor!
    You can always buy the tapes. (I'll let you in on another secret: I bought the tapes for a couple of years before I ever attended a conference. So that is an admirable path to follow.)
    And I'll try to report on the conference when it happens, or would that be too painful? ;-)

    That feeling you have simply means that some year, you WILL be at the conference. And I look forward to seeing you then, with all the other new and old Chestertonians.

  7. Well at least I can console myself that I never read vol. 15 of the collected works. Nothing new under the sun.

  8. Enough with the 12/13-year-old! Is there going to be a Stilton-eating contest this year???

  9. Kevin: Taking consolation in that is like being happy to have lost your arm instead of your head. It's "good," so far as good goes, but it could be better.

    I think you know what to do.

    Nancy: I will, as I've said, be there in spirit. I look forward to hearing the report.

  10. Stilton eating contest??!? You mean like a watermelon eating contest? At $8 a wedge I can't afford much training for that one. I'll just have to wing it.

  11. Do they pass out clothespins at the Stilton contest, so you can plug your nose?

    And does this have anything to do with drinking the Petta's wine? (Frank Petta is the fellow in the "Letters" page of Gilbert who always sends in jokes. He and his wife apparently also attempt each year to make wine, to varying degrees of success.)

  12. The Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt not dis the Petta Wine. ;-)

    Neither shalt thou dis the odor of Stilton cheese. Stilton is an olfactory extravaganza.

  13. Mrs. Brown,

    You HAVE to report on the conference!

    The 17th is my birthday, & I'm going to be feeling mighty sorry for myself that day...

    School finals, a car accident- this is how I've 'celebrated' my birthday in the past...

    & now this!

    Please report thoroughly. I'll probably end up with the tapes again this year, too. Which are fine, of course- it's just not the same.

    And remember to make a lot of noise when you're out in the crowd... practice sneezing, or whistling real loud.

    You can do it!




    Thank you!


  14. PS

    Happy Birthday to the tween!

    Will this secret Chestertonian be featured on the tapes too?

  15. Gosh, I don't know if our Ballad of the White Horse mystery person will be on tape, I hope so. I'll see what I can do.

    Last year, by sneakily following Blogmeister Shea after first meeting him at the conference, I discovered a hidden and secret location at St. Thomas college from which to e-mail and blog from. I figured I just couldn't blog, since the "hotel" accomodations for the conference are really just dorm rooms, and they have no high speed, low speed or dial-up connections of any sort, not to mention the complete lack of air connectivity. I thought I was out of luck.

    However, He (Shea) being the Grand Master of Blogging, I figured he must know a way to get connected, and sure enough, he made a bee line for....the Library. Which, naturally, had public terminals. Now the only problem with that was that I had to reach way back into my brain cells and try to recall my user name and password, because I have automation on my own computer (which is a laptop) in which I make the computer remember all that stuff so that I don't have to. This system breaks down when I don't have my own computer to work with.

    However, I was just thunder-struck with a brilliantly new idea: I'm going to check and see if the Library has air connection. Then I don't have to worry about memorizing names and passwords.

    In either case, Library computer or my own using the Library airwaves, I'll keep you posted.

    Was that a long enough answer?!

  16. How positively stealth of you, Mrs. Brown!

    Thank you:)

  17. Nancy said: "Gosh, I don't know if our Ballad of the White Horse mystery person will be on tape, I hope so. I'll see what I can do."

    You need to talk to my dad, as he'll be doing all the taping for the conference.


  18. Mention it not. I just found out that they're building a new website, hence they're updating nothing on existing website, but the e-mail link under "contact us" should still work.

  19. I for one am very excited.

    It moves me like that story in CW14... you know. The one where ... Oh, I will post it.


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