Appeared in Spring 2003, Vol. XXVIII, No. 1
George Bernard shaw’s affectionate attack on G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc, in an article entitled “The Chesterbelloc: A Lampoon,” gave birth to a duomorph destined to find its place in literary legend. Chesterton and Belloc were seen so synonymously, said Shaw, that they formed “a very amusing pantomime elephant.”
Shaw’s lampoon, like a well-guided harpoon, struck home. Thereafter, the popular imagination could not conjure up an image of Chesterton’s whale-like girth without perceiving the shadow of Belloc in the background. Similarly, Belloc’s bombast was always accompanied by the counterpoint of Chesterton’s jollity. For good or ill, George Bernard Shaw, as a latter-day Victor Frankenstein, had created a monster that had developed a life of its own. The Chesterbelloc was born.
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