New Explorations: 1918–1925
The years 1913 to 1923 yielded many books about historical, political and social criticism. These are similar to The Flying Inn in that they concentrate on demonstrations of the application of sacrament in all subjects. They also tend to be too stridently personal, especially in their condemnation of Germany during the Great War. The loss in critical objectivity and calibre is partly due to the stresses that led to the author’s breakdown of 1914–15 when he lay in a semi-conscious state for three months. Much of the tension was created by the libel action against his brother Cecil that followed from his ill-considered exploitation of the Marconi case in his newspaper ‘New Witness’. After Chesterton’s recovery in 1915, he continued to dissipate his energies at ‘New Witness’ probably because he felt a necessity to take over the political and social criticism of his brother while he was away fighting, even though Chesterton’s own abilities lay in rather different directions. However, the books of this period do bear out the solidity of his belief; and are interesting in picturing the total interdependence of all aspects of his life.
KeywordsSocial Criticism Critical Work Absolute Standard Expressive Mode Poetic Language
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