"Things Grow New"
The Aesthetic of Wonder in G. K. Chesterton
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"Things Grow New ": The Aesthetic of Wonder in G. K. Chesterton examines Gilbert Keith Chesterton's aesthetic of wonder with a special emphasis on the pastoral tradition. Though Chesterton was not himself a pastoral poet, his idyllic musings, country settings, Virgilian references, political vision (Distributism), and even generic inversions hold pastoral implications. The chief implication is not that the old pastoral territory was reinstated but that by capturing the wonder of things anew, we suddenly realize that our local habitations hold the real potential of the pleasant land or locus amoenus. Chesterton's pastoral motif proves a rich avenue to treat his aesthetic of wonder. T. S. Eliot wished "to see that the work that [G. K. Chesterton] did in his time is continued in ours" (Conlon 532). Toward that end, the following critical chapters are complemented by an appendix of poetry written by the present author and inspired by Chesterton's aesthetic.
The author has a intimate understanding of G.K.C., as well as Chesterton's contemporaries, and the pastoral tradition leading up to his time. This is a scholarly work that demonstrates a mature appreciation for its subject.