Monday, April 09, 2012

Finding an Over-Looked Chesterton Gem: The Platypus Reads Part CXLV

I recently discovered that among his many other accomplishments G.K. Chesterton also wrote plays.  As a man all too willing to take up his pen at the slightest provocation, this shouldn't be surprising.  Evidently, Chesterton's friend, George Bernard Shaw, got tired of G.K.C. skewering all his plays and forbade the critic to criticize until he had tried his own hand at writing for the stage.  The outcome of that challenge was Magic: A Fantastic Comedy.

Magic is a story where the characters stand for different sorts of people that could be found in the early 20th century.  We have an old and a new Atheist, a Progressive, a Liberal clergyman, a fan of the Celtic Twilight, and a Spiritualist.  The plot centers around the claim of a young Irish woman (a fan of the Celtic Twilight) that she has spoken with a fairy on her nightly walks in the garden.  Each character's worldview requires a different response to this claim and this conflict as well as the quest to find out just exactly what it is the young woman is seeing drive the action of the play.  I won't spoil it for you, so don't worry.  The play is in the public domain and you can read it yourself a.s.a.p.  In fact, I recommend that you do!

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