“How quickly revolutions grow old; and, worse still, respectable.”—G.K. Chesterton, in “The Listener,” March 6, 1935.
Gilbert Keith Chesterton, born on this date in 1874, was a really big guy. The way I figure it, he almost had to be, in order to take in his multiple literary guises. I first came to know this British man of letters in adolescence as the creator of the Father Brown detective stories, but in time I came to enjoy him even more as critic, novelist, poet, journalist, essayist, and, most of all, writer of Christian apologetics (and Catholic convert) whose influence in the last century might be exceeded only by C.S. Lewis.
As the above quote indicates, he was particularly the master of the playful paradox. That is the quality that informs virtually all his work, no matter the genre—and why he continues to make fans to this day.