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G K Chesterton was a man of colossal intellect and wit, says Robert Douglas-Fairhurst , but his work also reveals a child-like innocence:

GK Chesterton was one of the giants of early 20th-century literature. If that description makes him sound less like a human being than a fairy-tale creature, then it accurately captures a character who often gave the impression of having wandered into real life by mistake.
GK Chesterton, c. 1930

Everything about Chesterton was larger than life: his height, his bulk, and a list of publications long enough to stock a small library. In a career spanning four decades, he produced some 80 books, 200 short stories, 4,000 essays and countless newspaper columns that he dictated while chuckling at his own jokes and jabbing at the air with a knife. A “man of colossal genius”, according to G B Shaw, he sometimes seemed to have several other writers nested inside him like Russian dolls.

Though physically awkward, intellectually Chesterton was as nimble as a hummingbird. His writing became famous for its use of paradox: little controlled explosions that ranged from everyday clichés (“travel narrows the mind”) to the perils of the suffragette movement: “Ten thousand women marched through the streets of London saying: ‘We will not be dictated to’, and then went off to become stenographers.”

And whereas Wilde’s slick one-liners were usually polished up in advance, Chesterton’s came as naturally as breathing. Like every true genius, he assumed that everyone thought as he did, and simply needed to be reminded of the fact from time to time.

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