Course: Short Excerpts in Literature, Level 10
Course description:Our Excerpts in Literature courses provide the student an opportunity to read short excerpts of literature from authors he may not be familiar with.
In this Level 2 course, we offer the following short stories:
-- "The Mixer - Part One" by P.G. Wodehouse. This hilarious short story is told from the perspective of a dog who is purchased by a thief and then intentionally trained not to bark at strange things in the night, so that the thief might sell the dog to a rich mansion owner, and then later rob that mansion. But things do not quite turn out as planned... A truly enjoyable story! (P. G. Wodehouse was a British author who lived from 1881 to 1975. While living both in the United Kingdom and United States, Wodehouse wrote over 140 newspaper columns, novels, playwrights, and film scripts in the areas of comedy, farce, and light romances. He even made humorous radio broadcasts during his time as a war prisoner in France in the 1940’s. While we do not approve of all his works, this one is delightful.)
-- Three short stories from G. K. Chesterton's collection, The Father Brown Stories. Father Brown is the main character in the stories, and is a loveable and humble English priest-detective who has an uncanny sense for how criminals think, making him extremely effective at solving crimes. These Father Brown stories have come to loved by many, and are not only easier and enjoyable reading, but they also have serious themes about the reality of fallen human nature, as well as the hope of redemption and living a better life. The three stories are:
-- "The Blue Cross": In this first of the short stories in the Father Brown series, the persistent Paris detective, Valentin, follows the infamous and eccentric French thief Flambeau across the English Channel into London, where it is suspected that Flambeau is planning his next crime. Although this is true, neither the detective nor the criminal realize the greatness of an apparently fumbling, bumbling little priest who is also involved. Will Flambeau be caught? By whom?
-- "The Queer Feet": When Father Brown is called to the exclusive Vernon Hotel to administer the sacrament of Extreme Unction to a dying member of the staff, he manages to detect a crime in progress, and save a soul, all by listening to a few strange footsteps in a corridor. 'The Queer Feet' reintroduces Flambeau, the master criminal foiled by Father Brown in the very first story, 'The Blue Cross'.
-- "The Flying Stars": Flambeau strikes one last time in this story which combines murder, a priceless set of three diamonds (so often stolen in the past that they are called the "Flying Stars"); a wealthy, eccentric Colonel, his daughter in love with a young man deluded by Communist ideology; and of course, Father Brown as a guest. Once again, Flambeau is caught by the persistent bloodhound, Father Brown. Although Flambeau could easily overpower the priest and escape, he is moved to repentance by Father Brown's heartfelt admonitions. It turns out to be Flambeau's last crime, and in future stories, we see him as a partner detective to Father Brown.
Course Length (in weeks):