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The Man Who Was Thursday. A Nightmare
G. K. Chesterton

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Genre: Novel
Price: Free
Format: EPUB EPUB  |  Amazon Kindle Kindle  |  LIT LIT
Length: 58,817 words (174 Kb / 440 Kb / 191 Kb)
1st. edition: November 2004

In the nightmarish and paradoxical world we live in, with ubiquitous secret services and terrorist plots galore, it is time to reread the surreal tale of espionage written a century ago by G. K. Chesterton. A book, in Chesterton’s own words, that “was intended to describe the world of wild doubt and despair which the pessimist were generally describing at that date”.

Kingsley Amis wrote about it:

I have read it so many times since that, if a sentence anywhere in it were put in front of me, I bet I could be pretty accurate about what was in the next one. And yet it remains the most thrilling book I have ever read. (...) The Man Who Was Thursday is not quite a political bad dream, nor a metaphysical thriller, nor a cosmic joke in the form of a spy novel, but it has something of all three.

We are proud to publish this short novel to commemorate our IX anniversary.

Table of Contents
  • Dedication
  • I. The Two Poets of Saffron Park
  • II. The Secret of Gabriel Syme
  • III. The Man Who Was Thursday
  • VI. The Tale of a Detective
  • V. The Feast of Fear
  • VI. The Exposure
  • VII. The Unaccountable Conduct of Professor de Worms
  • VIII. The Professor Explains
  • IX. The Man in Spectacles
  • X. The Duel
  • XI. The Criminals Chase the Police
  • XII. The Earth in Anarchy
  • XIII. The Pursuit of the President
  • XIV. The Six Philosophers
  • XV. The Accuser
  • About the Author
About the author

Gilbert Keith Chesterton was born on May 29, 1874, in London. He was educated at St. Paul’s and studied at the Slade School of Art. He was asked to review a number of books for the Bookman and, since then, became a columnist for several magazine and papers (The Speaker, Daily News, Illustrated London News, Eye Witness, New Witness, or his own G.K’s Weekly). Chesterton wrote with wit and irony about a wide range of topics from politics and economics to philosophy and theology. After a spiritual crisis, in 1901 he married Frances Blogg. In 1909 he moved with his wife to Beaconsfield. He converted from Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism in 1922. He was the President of the Distributist League (“The problem with capitalism is that there are not enough capitalists”). He died on June 14, 1936, in Beaconsfield.

What the readers think

Creo que GK Chesterton es uno de los pensadores más completos de los últimos siglos y, por lejos, el más lúcido del siglo XX.


Sin duda, Chesterton es un ensayista y pensador inteligente, pero lo que hace que sus ensayos tengan ese atractivo especial son, ante todo, esas gemas brillantes que los enriquecen: me refiero a sus paradojas desopilantes.

En el siglo XX, existen ensayistas más demoledores y rigurosos (como Bertrand Russell o George Santayana) que Chesterton, básicamente porque no mezclaban poesía y filosofía en la argumentación de sus textos, lo cual los hace más rigurosos y científicos, pero menos divertidos que los del vecino de Beaconsfield.

Comoquiera que un ensayo debe ser inteligente y divertido, Chesterton sí podría ocupar el nº 1 como maestro en el ensayo genérico, pero no como el nº 1 en ensayo filosófico, que ocuparía seguramente Russell o Santayana, ya que Chesterton dio muestras de ser más artista que filósofo (su prolijidad, sus ganas de "pintar el pueblo todo de rojo", es la razón, como se opina en la biografía de Ward). De hecho, su catolicismo le hizo demasiado conservador con respecto al sexo (del que en sus ensayos no se habla, si no es a la manera de San Pablo), al valor social de la mujer (en casa cuidando hijos), a la ciencia (v.g. criticó a Einstein dando por supuesto que la relatividad era un despropósito, sin justificar sus argumentos por la vía científica, sólo con poesía y teologia apologéticas; también luchó por demoler los cimientos del darwinismo con poesía, lo cual es poco riguroso, filosóficamene hablando), al Arte (criticó el verso libre con vehemencia en sus ensayos, cuando, paradójicamente, siempre sintió un amor whitmaniano; despreciaba a Picasso y a la vanguardia; nunca los entendió, ni pretendió hacerlo: en este sentido, Santayana como esteta fue mucho más apreciativo y un crítico más racional y medido; véase su The Sense of Beauty, o The Life of Reason para ello).

Ricardo Mena

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Sample of the ebook

The suburb of Saffron Park lay on the sunset side of London, as red and ragged as a cloud of sunset. It was built of a bright brick throughout; its sky-line was fantastic, and even its ground plan was wild. It had been the outburst of a speculative builder, faintly tinged with art, who called its architecture sometimes Elizabethan and sometimes Queen Anne, apparently under the impression that the two sovereigns were identical. It was described with some justice as an artistic colony, though it never in any definable way produced any art. But although its pretensions to be an intellectual centre were a little vague, its pretensions to be a pleasant place were quite indisputable. The stranger who looked for the first time at the quaint red houses could only think how very oddly shaped the people must be who could fit in to them. Nor when he met the people was he disappointed in this respect. The place was not only pleasant, but perfect, if once he could regard it not as a deception but rather as a dream. Even if the people were not “artists,” the whole was nevertheless artistic. That young man with the long, auburn hair and the impudent face—that young man was not really a poet; but surely he was a poem. That old gentleman with the wild, white beard and the wild, white hat—that venerable humbug was not really a philosopher; but at least he was the cause of philosophy in others. That scientific gentleman with the bald, egg-like head and the bare, bird-like neck had no real right to the airs of science that he assumed. He had not discovered anything new in biology; but what biological creature could he have discovered more singular than himself? Thus, and thus only, the whole place had properly to be regarded; it had to be considered not so much as a workshop for artists, but as a frail but finished work of art. A man who stepped into its social atmosphere felt as if he had stepped into a written comedy.
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