Striving towards Being
The Letters of Thomas Merton and Czeslaw Milosz
Edited by Robert Faggen
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $21, 160 pp.
The Journals of Thomas Merton, Volumes 1-5
Edited by Patrick Hart, Jonathan Montaldo, Lawrence S. Cunningham, Vincent A. Kramer, and Robert E. Daggy
HarperSanFrancisco, $15 (pbk.), $30 (cloth)
Writing to Thomas Merton in 1960, the poet Czeslaw Milosz reflected that we moderns “lack an image of the world ordered by religion.” Merton first wrote to Milosz in 1958, and they corresponded until Merton’s sudden death a decade later. In their letters, at once generous and scrupulous, Milosz makes exacting demands of Merton and does not hold back from trying to provoke him: He writes, for example, that he has not yet read Merton’s The...
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