Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Chestertonian footnote

[an addendum to this essay: ]

This (let us call it) sub-subgenre of the whodunit, in which it is the (amateur) detective who is “locked in”, and -- denied sight -- must judge by muffled sounds, is brought to the pitch of perfection, and indeed to spiritual depth, in G.K. Chesterton’s short story, “The Queer Feet” (1910; collected in The Innocence of Father Brown).  Here Father Brown is temporarily sequestered in a closed chamber off a back passageway;  and from this vantage, deduces all, both factual and spiritual, based simply upon the footfalls of an unnatural gait.  Indeed, the story is a kind of rhythmic pendant to the visual-geometrical masterpiece, "The Wrong Shape".

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