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Treasure hunting 
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Post Treasure hunting
While my computer was being cared for and prepared for its final journey to the Grey Havens I have been digging into other GKC writings looking for clues to the meaning of the Sunday Notes.

Most GKC scholars dismiss them as nonsense, which does not mean they are insignificant however. My opinion, which I have shared before, is that they are not only significant, but that their meaning can be discovered provided we can decipher the clues. I believe that I have made some progress in that respect and request feedback on what I have found.

In Chesterton's autobiorgraphy pages 159-61 refer to a curate by the name of Conrad Noel.* Those pages also refer to a story titled, The Private Secretary. One of the six detectives in TMWWT is identified only as the Secretary. Furthermore, one of the nonsense clues is a poem in the form of a Clerihew with the Secretary as the subject.

Another Sunday Note referred to Trouser Stretchers. While the word stretchers does not appear in the attached text, trousers are referred to on page 159 where GKC mentions a story called, The Curate's Trousers.

*he was referred to as the Red Curate because he flew a red flag demonstrating his opposition to the Boer War. Is it a coincidence that the color red is so prominent in TMWWT?

I have not finished reading GKC's Autobiography so I will update this as I progress through the book as appropriate.

Please share any observations and thoughts.

thank you


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Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:03 am
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Post Re: Treasure hunting
stahrwe wrote:

Most GKC scholars dismiss them as nonsense, which does not mean they are insignificant however. My opinion, which I have shared before, is that they are not only significant, but that their meaning can be discovered provided we can decipher the clues. I believe that I have made some progress in that respect and request feedback on what I have found.

*he was referred to as the Red Curate because he flew a red flag demonstrating his opposition to the Boer War. Is it a coincidence that the color red is so prominent in TMWWT?

Please share any observations and thoughts.

thank you

I thought a few times while reading Thursday that Chesteron was asking we the readers to be the 'detectives', perhaps a metanarrative approach? So, 'deciphering the clues' would fit with this. I wonder how often authors bury clues in their work and for what purpose? It would be interesting to have a discussion about clues buried in fictional works and poetry.

Your reference to the prominence of 'red' in the book reminded me of the concluding debate between Gregory and Syme where Syme offers the oddly compelling argument that Gregory should be more positive toward the world because 'Gregory has red hair' (and he should not destroy the world even though he is a serious anarchist). And then in the last lines of the book, once the dream has evaporated, Syme and Gregory meet Gregory's sister and her red hair is mentioned. I wonder about the symbolism/meaning of red hair in the book and to Chesterton? Is the significance in the 'red'? or perhaps in Chesterton's time and place there was some social/cultural meaning to 'red hair'? Or maybe he is just being funny?



Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:46 am
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