The Literary Essays Of Thomas Merton Pdf

Thomas Merton

Early Essays, 1947-1952

Edited with an Introduction by Patrick F. O'Connell, Foreword by Jonathan Montaldo

Publication Year: 2015

This volume gathers together twelve essays that Thomas Merton wrote for various journals between 1947 and 1952, the years that saw the publication of his best-selling autobiography The Seven Storey Mountain, his ordination to the priesthood, and his initial appointment as spiritual and intellectual guide of the young monks at the Abbey of Gethsemani. The essays, most of which have never been reprinted, focus above all on aspects of the contemplative life but also consider the spiritual dimensions of literature and the social implications of Christian life. Issued to coincide with the one hundredth anniversary of his birth, this collection brings to fruition at long last Merton’s own original plan of publishing these essays as a group and so makes available a previously little recognized and underutilized resource for understanding and appreciating a crucial transitional phase in his life as both monk and writer.

Published by: Liturgical Press

Part I: Articles from The Commonweal

Part II: Articles from Other Periodicals

“Poetry and the Contemplative Life” (July 4, 1947)

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pp. 3-16

“The Trappists Go to Utah” (August 29, 1947)

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pp. 17-27

“Active and Contemplative Orders” (December 5, 1947)

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pp. 28-38

“A Christmas Devotion” (December 26, 1947)

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pp. 39-46

“Is Mysticism Normal?” (November 4, 1949)

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pp. 47-59

“Self-Denial and the Christian” (March 31, 1950)

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pp. 60-72

“Death of a Trappist” (Integrity: November 1947)

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pp. 75-83

“A Trappist Speaks on People, Priests and Prayer” (The Messenger of the Sacred Heart: April 1948)

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pp. 84-90

“Contemplation in a Rocking Chair” (Integrity: August 1948)

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pp. 91-102

“The Contemplative Life: Its Meaning and Necessity” (The Dublin Review: Winter 1949)

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pp. 103-115

“The Primacy of Contemplation” (Cross and Crown: March 1950)

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pp. 116-132

“Christ Suffers Again” (Action Now! March 1952)

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pp. 133-135

Appendix 2: "States of Life"

John Fearon

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pp. 146-166

E-ISBN-13: 9780879074968
E-ISBN-10: 0879074965
Print-ISBN-13: 9780879072667
Print-ISBN-10: 0879072660

Page Count: 192
Publication Year: 2015

Volume Title: 266

OCLC Number: 966819479
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Thomas Merton

As wide a following as the late Thomas Merton had while he lived, ever since his tragic accidental death in Bangkok in 1968, there has been a steady upsurge of interest in both his life and writings. A priest and Trappist monk by vocation, his theological works have been instrumental in reforming Western monasticism and in carrying on the religious dialogue between East and West; an enormously productive poet, his poems display an astonishing technical versatility and deeply felt humanity. Merton’s stature as a critic, however, was not fully appreciated until the publication in 1981 of the first full collection of his distinctly literary essays, now available as a paperbook. The fifty-six pieces included in The Literary Essays of Thomas Merton present every known article by the author, though written for the most part during the last years of his life. The mature Merton ranges across the modern literary landscape with impressive ease. Joyce, Pasternak, and Zukofsky are only a few of the authors discussed in “Literary Essays (1959-68).” These are followed, in turn, by “Seven Essays on Albert Camus”; nine essays “Introducing Poets in Translation”; and “Related Literary Questions,” linking Merton’s literary thought with his aesthetic, religious, and social concerns. His earlier work, such as his 1939 Master’s thesis on Blake as well as newspaper and periodical reviews written prior to 1941, are included in appendices; to these are added transcripts of two talks he gave on Faulkner in 1967. The Literary Essays were collected and edited by Brother Patrick Hart, Father Merton’s secretary at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky.

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