Saturday, August 5, 2017

Quoodle Is on the Quover--the Cover!!

Ignatius Press has published a new edition of G.K. Chesterton's The Flying Inn! I'm glad to see the dog, Quoodle on the cover.

Quoodle is introduced in chapter 10, aptly titled, "The Character of Quoodle":

THERE lay about in Lord Ivywood’s numerous gardens, terraces, outhouses, stable yards and similar places, a dog that came to be called by the name of Quoodle. Lord Ivywood did not call him Quoodle. Lord Ivywood was almost physically incapable of articulating such sounds. Lord Ivywood did not care for dogs. He cared for the Cause of dogs, of course; and he cared still more for his own intellectual self-respect and consistency. He would never have permitted a dog in his house to be physically ill-treated; nor, for that matter, a rat; nor, for that matter, even a man. But if Quoodle was not physically ill-treated, he was at least socially neglected, and Quoodle did not like it. For dogs care for companionship more than for kindness itself. . . . 

Now Lady Joan Brett did appreciate dogs. It was the whole of her type and a great deal of her tragedy that all that was natural in her was still alive under all that was artificial; and she could smell hawthorn or the sea as far off as a dog can smell his dinner. . . .

Quoodle can sense Lady Brett's appreciation:

The man who was mowing the garden lawn looked up for a moment, for he had never seen the dog behave in exactly that way before. Quoodle arose, shook himself, and trotted on in front of the lady, leading her up an iron side staircase, of which, as it happened, she had never made use before. It was then, most probably, that she first took any special notice of him; and her pleasure, like that which she took in the sublime prophet from Turkey, was of a humorous character. For the complex quadruped had retained the bow legs of the bull-dog; and, seen from behind, reminded her ridiculously of a swaggering little Major waddling down to his Club.

And Quoodle has a poem composed in his honor!

“They haven’t got no noses
The fallen sons of Eve,
Even the smell of roses
Is not what they supposes,
But more than mind discloses,
And more than men believe.

“They haven’t got no noses,
They cannot even tell
When door and darkness closes
The park a Jew encloses,
Where even the Law of Moses
Will let you steal a smell;

“The brilliant smell of water,
The brave smell of a stone,
The smell of dew and thunder
And old bones buried under,
Are things in which they blunder
And err, if left alone.

“The wind from winter forests,
The scent of scentless flowers,
The breath of bride’s adorning,
The smell of snare and warning,
The smell of Sunday morning,
God gave to us for ours.”

. . . . . .

“And Quoodle here discloses
All things that Quoodle can;
They haven’t got no noses,
They haven’t got no noses,
And goodness only knowses
The Noselessness of Man.”

Notice that Lady Brett does have a noses: "she could smell hawthorn or the sea as far off as a dog can smell his dinner." No wonder Quoodle follows her around in Lord Ivywood's mansion.

More about the design of the cover here. Do you think the dog on the cover could look like "a swaggering little Major waddling down to his Club"?

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