Chesterton on a Desert Island


In Greenwich at Rush Hour and thinking Kauffman’s suggestion to go see Father Boyd speak his wisdom on Chesterton a good one, I reluctantly headed further into the maw of gridlock. Is two hours of bumper to bumper traffic in New Jersey not a reasonable price to pay for a little bit of Chesterton at Seton Hall? Well, I am here to report it is and I generally avoid the Metropolitan Area at Rush Hour like the plague. In addition to some provoking words on solipsism and a great presentation on Chesterton’s evolving opinion of America from the time of his first visit in 1921 to his second stay in 1930, Father Boyd gave a humorous account of Chesterton’s description of reporters descending upon his ship in the harbor “like Pirates”. Chesterton, whose great inner calm held no small amounts of humor didn’t drop a beat when a reporter asked him what book might he take with him if he were stranded on a deserted island. The reporter urged him on…would it be the Bible or Shakespeare or perhaps a novel by Dickens?

Chesterton replied:

“101 Ways to Build a Boat”

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