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 Post subject: The Man who was Thursday
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:38 pm 
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Just finished it... stupendous! But.. I'm still trying to sort out the ending :scratch:

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 Post subject: Re: The Man who was Thursday
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:52 pm 
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Givi46 wrote:
Just finished it... stupendous! But... I'm still trying to sort out the ending :scratch:


Join the club! I think GK Chesterton himself once said that he doesn't understand the story either.

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 Post subject: Re: The Man who was Thursday
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:07 pm 
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I still want to write a book called "The Man Who Was Thirsty"

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 Post subject: Re: The Man who was Thursday
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:15 pm 
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kage_ar wrote:
I still want to write a book called "The Man Who Was Thirsty"

He and Joe Friday got together on Saturday and had a sundae.

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 Post subject: Re: The Man who was Thursday
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:17 pm 
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kage_ar wrote:
I still want to write a book called "The Man Who Was Thirsty"



A play on words Chesterton also made in his AUTOBIOGRAPHY.

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Last edited by GKC on Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Man who was Thursday
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:29 pm 
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Doom wrote:
Givi46 wrote:
Just finished it... stupendous! But... I'm still trying to sort out the ending :scratch:


Join the club! I think GK Chesterton himself once said that he doesn't understand the story either.


He said various things, at various times. The one you are thinking of is probably the newspaper interview he gave, published in early 1926, in the ILLUSTRATED SUNDAY HERALD, but he then went on to say a few things about what it meant. And did likewise in another newspaper interview, reported by Masie Ward, later that year, also with some insight as to what was going on. And then, as noted,there's some musing in his autobio.

The appendix to THE ANNOTATED THURSDAY (Martin Gardner), lists these, and one other spot, and discusses them a little.

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 Post subject: Re: The Man who was Thursday
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:02 pm 
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GKC wrote:


He said various things, at various times. The one you are thinking of is probably the newspaper interview he gave, published in early 1926, in the ILLUSTRATED SUNDAY HERALD, but he then went on to say a few things about what it meant. And did likewise in another newspaper interview, reported by Masie Ward, later that year, also with some insight as to what was going on. And then, as noted, there's some musing in his autobio.

The appendix to THE ANNOTATED THURSDAY (Martin Gardner), lists these, and one other spot, and discusses them a little.


Oh, I didn't think he meant it literally, one would have to be a very poor writer to write a book that is literally incomprehensible even to oneself. I just took it to be his characteristically flippant way of saying that he refused to answer questions about meaning because once you explain the 'meaning' of a story, it loses its import. You should never explain a joke and you never explain a novel, the meaning is for the reader to discern on his own.

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 Post subject: Re: The Man who was Thursday
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:35 pm 
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Doom wrote:
GKC wrote:


He said various things, at various times. The one you are thinking of is probably the newspaper interview he gave, published in early 1926, in the ILLUSTRATED SUNDAY HERALD, but he then went on to say a few things about what it meant. And did likewise in another newspaper interview, reported by Masie Ward, later that year, also with some insight as to what was going on. And then, as noted, there's some musing in his autobio.

The appendix to THE ANNOTATED THURSDAY (Martin Gardner), lists these, and one other spot, and discusses them a little.


Oh, I didn't think he meant it literally, one would have to be a very poor writer to write a book that is literally incomprehensible even to oneself. I just took it to be his characteristically flippant way of saying that he refused to answer questions about meaning because once you explain the 'meaning' of a story, it loses its import. You should never explain a joke and you never explain a novel, the meaning is for the reader to discern on his own.


Maybe so, but it seems otherwise. He also speaks a little of what it was he meant. A nightmare: fin de siecle pessimism, Nature, pantheism, nihilism, anarchism, skepticism, good and evil, as Chesterton experienced them and reacted to them. See the autobio, chap IV, pp 98-100. And remember, the subtitle is A NIGHTMARE.

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 Post subject: Re: The Man who was Thursday
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:35 pm 
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GKC wrote:

Maybe so, but it seems otherwise. He also speaks a little of what it was he meant. A nightmare: fin de siecle pessimism, Nature, pantheism, nihilism, anarchism, skepticism, good and evil, as Chesterton experienced them and reacted to them. See the autobio, chap IV, pp 98-100. And remember, the subtitle is A NIGHTMARE.


But that is in his autobiography, not to an interviewer, an interviewer who asks an author to 'explain' his book deserves a flippant response, not a serious one. I've never read the autobiography, but I bet that the reason why he explains the story, not simply to explain it but to illustrate some other point that he was making.

I remember Flannery O'Connor received a letter from a teacher of an English class about her short story 'A Good Man Is Hard to Find', in which an escaped murderer, called simply 'The Misfit', kidnaps and murders an old woman. Well, if you've read that story then you realize that my summary, while more or less accurate, really misses the point of the story. I mean, badly misses the point.

Anyway, the teacher and her class concluded that the Misfit never really appears in the story and that the old woman merely dreamed meeting him, however, they were unable to locate the precise point in the story where the dream began and wrote O'Conner asking where. O'Connor wrote back and told the teacher that a story is not a kind of puzzle or a cipher, that the reader is expected to decipher, and that reading a story that way tends to miss the point the author it making.

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 Post subject: Re: The Man who was Thursday
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:39 pm 
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Well that the author didn't have a clear direction to the story that I simply missed makes it all the more delicious to ponder. (Also makes me feel decidedly less the dunce for not "getting it" :P )

This one is going to be loads of fun to think about, re-read, and think about some more.

I rather enjoyed Napolean of Notting Hill much more though :D

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 Post subject: Re: The Man who was Thursday
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:57 pm 
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I've never read the autobiography

:swoon

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 Post subject: Re: The Man who was Thursday
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:57 pm 
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Givi46 wrote:
Well that the author didn't have a clear direction to the story that I simply missed makes it all the more delicious to ponder. (Also makes me feel decidedly less the dunce for not "getting it" :P )

This one is going to be loads of fun to think about, re-read, and think about some more.

I rather enjoyed Napolean of Notting Hill much more though :D


That's what you get for reading Doom: confusion. The author had a definite point and a direction for the story; it was a major theme of his maturation, and part of his journey to the RCC. And it is a nightmare, he reports, after all. Maybe some parts of it are hard to grasp, when one awakes.

But no, you shouldn't consider yourself a dunce. TMWWT is accounted the most difficult of Chesterton's novels to grasp.

If you read it again, and ponder it,and anything resembling an epiphany results, return and relate it.

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Last edited by GKC on Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Man who was Thursday
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:28 pm 
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Doom wrote:
GKC wrote:

Maybe so, but it seems otherwise. He also speaks a little of what it was he meant. A nightmare: fin de siecle pessimism, Nature, pantheism, nihilism, anarchism, skepticism, good and evil, as Chesterton experienced them and reacted to them. See the autobio, chap IV, pp 98-100. And remember, the subtitle is A NIGHTMARE.


But that is in his autobiography, not to an interviewer, an interviewer who asks an author to 'explain' his book deserves a flippant response, not a serious one. I've never read the autobiography, but I bet that the reason why he explains the story, not simply to explain it but to illustrate some other point that he was making.

I remember Flannery O'Connor received a letter from a teacher of an English class about her short story 'A Good Man Is Hard to Find', in which an escaped murderer, called simply 'The Misfit', kidnaps and murders an old woman. Well, if you've read that story then you realize that my summary, while more or less accurate, really misses the point of the story. I mean, badly misses the point.

Anyway, the teacher and her class concluded that the Misfit never really appears in the story and that the old woman merely dreamed meeting him, however, they were unable to locate the precise point in the story where the dream began and wrote O'Conner asking where. O'Connor wrote back and told the teacher that a story is not a kind of puzzle or a cipher, that the reader is expected to decipher, and that reading a story that way tends to miss the point the author it making.


And yet the interviewer got a serious reply, after a typical Chesterton opening. Explaining what he meant, and what other points he was making. which would involve those concepts that I listed above: Chesterton's reaction to the fin de siecle, Yellow Book period and its evils. This book is one of his replies to all that, a revolt against nihilistic pessimism. As was his "The Diabolist", a relating of an actual experience he had, a rejection of nihilistic evil. It's in TREMENDOUS TRIFLES. He returned to address the theme of this book, in the last column of his printed in the Illustrated London News before his death, discussing E.C. Bentley's great detective tour de force, TRENT'S LAST CASE. TMWWT is dedicated to Bentley. The theme is the concepts I listed above, and the need to resist them, still and always.

Well, go read the AUTOBIOGRAPHY. Do you good.

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 Post subject: Re: The Man who was Thursday
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:32 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Quote:
I've never read the autobiography

:swoon


It happens.

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 Post subject: Re: The Man who was Thursday
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:54 am 
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Which is why poetry (remember poetry?) is, IMHO, at its best, both directly simple and, simultaneously, complex. Emily immediately comes to mind. Searching for the poet's intent while looking into the mirror the poet is presenting the reader can be difficult. Or impossible.

I read Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men in my '20's and again in my 60's. Two totally different books. But the only thing that changed in the mirror was me.

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 Post subject: Re: The Man who was Thursday
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:57 pm 
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Flannery O'Connor wrote:
People have a habit of saying, "What is the theme of your story?" and they expect you to give them a statement: "The theme of my story is the economic pressure of the machine on the middle class"—or some such absurdity. And when they've got a statement like that, they go off happy and feel it is no longer necessary to read the story. Some people have the notion that you read the story and then climb out of it into the meaning, but for the fiction writer himself the whole story is the meaning, because it is an experience, not an abstraction.

An excellent essay--she's a giant.

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 Post subject: Re: The Man who was Thursday
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:13 pm 
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Then there is the recent reemergence of the phenomenon of every piece of literature having to have a clear and repetitive political/cultural message. Somewhat like Ragged Dick; or, Street Life in New York with the Boot Blacks by Horatio Alger Jr., from a different cultural POV of many years ago.

Some may remember the pivotal role of that novel in formal military education.


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 Post subject: Re: The Man who was Thursday
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:34 pm 
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Highlander wrote:
Then there is the recent reemergence of the phenomenon of every piece of literature having to have a clear and repetitive political/cultural message. Somewhat like Ragged Dick; or, Street Life in New York with the Boot Blacks by Horatio Alger Jr., from a different cultural POV of many years ago.

Some may remember the pivotal role of that novel in formal military education.



Almost everyone I l know does.

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 Post subject: Re: The Man who was Thursday
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:38 pm 
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GKC wrote:
Givi46 wrote:
Well that the author didn't have a clear direction to the story that I simply missed makes it all the more delicious to ponder. (Also makes me feel decidedly less the dunce for not "getting it" :P )

This one is going to be loads of fun to think about, re-read, and think about some more.

I rather enjoyed Napolean of Notting Hill much more though :D


That's what you get for reading Doom: confusion. The author had a definite point and a direction for the story; it was a major theme of his maturation, and part of his journey to the RCC. And it is a nightmare, he reports, after all. Maybe some parts of it are hard to grasp, when one awakes.

But no, you shouldn't consider yourself a dunce. TMWWT is accounted the most difficult of Chesterton's novels to grasp.

If you read it again, and ponder it,and anything resembling an epiphany results, return and relate it.


I most assuredly will!

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 Post subject: Re: The Man who was Thursday
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:51 pm 
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GKC wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Quote:
I've never read the autobiography

:swoon


It happens.

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