Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Chesterton's Use of Time of Day

Have you ever noticed that when Chesterton is writing a story, quite often it is either dawn or dusk, the sky is usually flaming with color?

Here is a bit of greatness, taken from "The Sins of Prince Saradine."

"...they awoke before it was light. To speak more strictly, they awoke before it was daylight; for a large lemon moon was only just setting in the forest of high grass above their heads, and the sky was of a vivid violet-blue, nocturnal but bright. Both men had simultaneously a reminiscence of childhood, of the elfin and adventurous time when tall weeds close over us like woods. Standing up thus against the large low moon, the daisies really seemed to be giant daises, the dandelions to be giant dandelions. Somehow, it reminded them of the dado of a nursery wallpaper. The drop of the river-bed sufficed to sink them under the roots of all shrubs and flowers and make them gaze upwards at the grass.

'By Jove,' said Flambeau, 'it's like being in fairyland.'"

Tomorrow, I'll post the dangerous part of this quote.

1 comment:

  1. I have had the privilege of working on audio recordings of "The Innocence of Father Brown", from which that story comes. In doing so, I have noticed a good deal of purple prose regarding purple sunsets and the like. There also seems to be a moment in every Father Brown story in which, just before the solution, a moment of madness threatens at least one of the characters - when the mystery is such that all hell seems to have broken loose inside the mind of one or more of the figures. This is especially noticable in "The Honor of Israel Gow", but happens in all of the tales. In "The Sins of Prince Saradine" the hellish mood permeates the story, at times threatening even the sanity of Father Brown in small ways, growing with the mystery until the spell is broken in the denoument following the solution. Notice also in "The Sign of the Broken Sword" how the trek through the woods at night mirrors the mystery Father Brown is weaving, with the mood and even the rationality of Brown and Flambeau reflected in the growing darkness of the twisted path they follow.


Join our FaceBook fan page today!