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Sunday, 6 June 2004
The Man Who Was Thursday - by G K Chesterton
Topic: Books - Christian Fiction
Symes, who was brought up in an unorthodox family, rebels by championing order. He says that chaos isn't interesting, it's dull. What Symes finds fascinating is when what is suppose to happen, happens. A train that arrives on time is a wonder. He becomes an undercover policeofficer in order to infiltrate anarchist cells. This book was written in 1908 when everyone thought of anarchists as bomb throwing foreigners and everyone, as in this book, took hansom cabs instead of taxis.

Symes reaches the grand council of anarchists in which each member is a day of the week. He is Thursday. The leader, a terrible man, is Sunday. From here the book took me roaring through countless changes and surprises until I wasn't sure who was who or what was what. It changes from being an ordinary police procedural to a farce and then a myth.

It's a wonderful book. There is a wonderful rant from Satan that could have come from the mouth of any liberal today:

"You! " he cried. "You never hated because you never lived. I know what you are all of you, from first to last-- you are the people in power! You are the police--the great fat, smiling men in blue and buttons! You are the Law, and you have never been broken. But is there a free soul alive that does not long to break you, only because you have never been broken? We in revolt talk all kind of nonsense doubtless about this crime or that crime of the Government. It is all folly! The only crime of the Government is that it governs. The unpardonable sin of the supreme power is that it is supreme.
I do not curse you for being cruel. I do not curse you (though I might) for being kind. I curse you for being safe! You sit in your chairs of stone, and have never come down from them. You are the seven angels of heaven, and you have had no troubles.
Oh, I could forgive you everything, you that rule all mankind, if I could feel for once that you had suffered for one hour a real agony such as I--"

Oh yes, "I curse you for being safe" is the cry of every rebel and terrorist and radical. They are miserable so everyone has to be.

Posted by rachela at 8:54 PM MDT
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