Friday, March 23, 2007

snippets and questions

I just finished The Flying Inn--about ten minutes ago, in fact--and I thought I'd post a few parts I liked.
1) (on a man regarding a landscape): "On a second study, he was not sure it was so inhuman. Rather he felt that its beauty at least was half human; that the aureole of the sinking moon behind the woods was chiefly lovely because it was like the tender-coloured aureole of an early saint; and that the young trees were, after all, noble because they held up their heads like virgins. Cloudily there crowded into his mind ideas with which it was imperfectly familiar, especially an idea which he had heard called "The Image of God." It seemed to him more and more that all these things, from the donkey to the very docks and ferns by the roadside, were dignified and sanctified by their partial resemblance to something else. It was as if they were baby drawings: the wild, crude sketches of Nature in her first sketchbooks of stone."
2) "It flung faintly across the broad foliage a wan and pearly light far more mysterious than the lost moonshine. It seemed to enter through all the doors and windows of the woodland, pale and silent but confident, like men that keep a tryst; soon its white robes had threads of gold and scarlet: and the name of it was morning."
3) "The finding and fighting of positive evil is the beginning of all fun..."

There are, of course, a great deal of other parts that I liked but to post them all would be exceedingly impractical ^_^

I would like to know, though, has anyone else read The Flying Inn? If so, I'd love to hear what you think of it--and how you interpret it. Especially the ending, since I didn't really understand it.

I also read Manalive right before I read the Flying Inn, and I would definitely recommend it; I'll probably post more about it later...


Mapaz said...

I haven't read The Flying Inn yet, but as soon as I finish with the book i'm reading now (Orthodoxy), I'll read it. I've loved these excerpts (specially the 2nd one) and no one will make me give up reading the whole book.

Enbrethiliel said...


I read The Flying Inn about two years ago, along with The Napoleon of Notting Hill and The Man Who Was Thursday. (All three novels came in an omnibus.)

I don't think anyone familiar with these books will be surprised if I say that, in my eyes, the crusade of Patrick Doyle paled in comparison to the battles of Adam Wayne and the quest of Gabriel Syme. The Flying Inn was rollicking fun to read, but its message against prohibition didn't seem as compelling as the more cosmic, eternal ideas in the other two novels.

Yet my experience of Uncle Gilbert's writing makes me suspicious of my own assessment of The Flying Inn as a mere anti-prohibition (and anti-vegetarian) novel. There must have been something I missed behind all the drinking songs . . .

Lucia Rosa said...

I think it is more about the battle between East and West, which he speaks about in his book on St. Thomas. It is eastern pessimism vs. western joy, prohibition vs. temperance, and even slavery vs. freedom. I think they meet in a great battle on English soil, by way of bringing the conflict home to his English readers.