Friday, January 18, 2008

Ideas about Orthodoxy

I have some ideas about celebrating the 100th anniversary of the publication of Orthodoxy, but I wondered if you had any. What are your plans?

Will you:

1. Come to the conference?

2. Read Orthodoxy for the first time?

3. Re-read Orthodoxy?

4. Burn Orthodoxy?

5. Prepare a speech about Orthodoxy?

6. Write an article about Orthodoxy?

7. Join in a blog discussion about Orthodoxy?

What are your plans?


  1. Re-read Orthodoxy, though I was going to do that anyway.

  2. I will be at the Conference.

    I will re-read ORTHODOXY with great joy... It was my first introduction to GKC.

    I will likely not write or speak about Orthodoxy, but I will most certainly read and listen to the brilliant persons who do!

    I'm not ruling out a clerihew, though.

  3. Burn Orthodoxy?! Why would one hold such a book-burning!

  4. One might, ah...burn Orthodoxy...if, um, one didn't understand what one was reading, and uh, had to write papers and discuss Orthodoxy when one didn't really understand it, and then, um, one's classmates decided that just for fun, once the Orthodoxy book and its assignments were done that, well, um, to celebrate the ending of such an episode, someone suggested a book burning.

    Not that I know anything about it. Or whether any books were actually burned. I can neither confirm nor deny book burnings actually took place.

  5. The idea that someone might set fire to a book as brilliant as Orthodoxy is so incomprehensible to me that when I first read that suggestion, I thought that Nancy was talking about someone taking the online e-book version of Orthodoxy and burning it onto a CD-ROM.

  6. +JMJ+

    I'll be sharing Orthodoxy with my students! =)

  7. In later life I was fortunate in becoming a close friend of my former Marquette English professor Joseph Schwartz (through our mutual interest in Chesterton, of course). Joseph told the story of how, when it was his turn to name the book all Freshman English students would study, he declared for Orthodoxy. There were protests, but he laughed them down. “I had to live with their choices, so now they were stuck with mine.” At the end of the semester, a number of professors and their students sponsored a bonfire for burning the accursed book.

    "What was it all about?" I asked Joseph.

    He said, "Chesterton touched every raw nerve in their brains." And he went on to say something I found very interesting. He said, half seriously and half jokingly, "You know, I don't see how Chesterton could possibly have been relevant during his lifetime, and I don't believe he can possibly be relevant in the future. He is so exactly relevant today, right now, that only this moment in history can claim him."

  8. The Professor who taught the class I mentioned above who allegedly had students burning books afterward was appropriately named Dr. Brown. Dr. Clarence Brown.

    Chris, you have an amazing mind. Many college freshman have lackluster minds. These minds can only feel frustrated by reading Chesterton before their brains are ready. These minds grew up on fluff instead of meat.

    And if, say, a professor had not prepared his students, and if, for example, the English class was under the false impression that the thin book in their hands was a novel, then said students might be in for a big surprise when they decide at the last minute they ought to read it before class. Then, when such alleged students begin to read, and realize that this is no novel, and they realize they haven't the time to figure the book out, nor do they want to because nine other classes are also demanding their attention....well, although I can neither confirm nor deny any knowledge of this, I can at least understand how it could happen.

    And that although I know virtually no details, I do know that remorse and guilt were part of it. ;-)

  9. 1, 3, and 5, definitely. 6 and 7, possibly.

  10. What Anonymous said, for the most part. 1: yeah. 2: already done that. 3: Guess I'm gonna have to. 4: Do I look like a Muslim? 5: Yeah. 6: Maybe. 7: Maybe.


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