I begin with a confession.
Whenever I receive a new number of The Chesterton Review, I groan inwardly and, from time to time, outwardly. Let me hasten to add that said groan is not a sign of tedium or disappointment—far from it. But opening those pages means that once again, despite myself, I will be drawn into the world of Chesterton and his friends, and their effervescent ideas. While normal, user-friendly magazines respect our busy schedules, and offer us just a scant few minutes of reading experience, the Review is going to hold me rapt for days.
And then there is the added burden of having to return to that issue in later weeks, to explore once more a singularly evocative point, to confront an acute truth, to mull over a telling argument. Other people don’t inflict this on us, so why does the Review? It’s just not fair. I don’t have that much time to spare.
If I had to single out one chief perpetrator to blame for these offenses, it would be Fr. Ian Boyd. There were plenty of other models he could have followed when founding the journal. There is no shortage of magazines devoted to particular authors, whose cult-like fans subsist on an endless diet of trivial and unnecessary details of no conceivable interest to anyone outside the initiated fraternity. But no, Father Boyd had to make The Chesterton...