This cap has a name and surname, one that loves minute details, sleepless nights and drugs. Yet, today isn’t Sherlock Holmes Day.
Let’s instead introduce Gilbert Keith Chesterton, just in case his name doesn’t ring a bell straight away: he was almost a contemporary of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and, like him, was born in late May under the sun sign of Gemini – though he wasn’t his twin but, rather, his alter ego. The same can be said about the detectives that sprang from the two authors’ respective imaginations. Holmes was a charismatic mentor while the protagonist of the Father Brown stories was an unassuming priest. Yet that is exactly how Chesterton tricks us. While the gentleman who lives at 221B Baker Street is the doyen of deductive reasoning, Father Brown excels at inductive logic. Emotions: it’s precisely these that ultimately give the criminals away – and, mind you, for the clergyman, they were by no means common thieves. The finer ones are those who think too much and that is where Father Brown takes his pleasure; he digs deep for oil, but gives his interlocutors the impression that he’s using a bucket and spade.
In conclusion, if Holmes could find the tiniest of flaws in the weave of the warp, Father Brown tends to look for a hidden darn. Which hat are we going to put on today, a deerstalker or a saturno? Never underestimate the role of emotions, they could turn us inside out, or round and round like the ringed planet.