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The Journals of Thomas Merton, Vol. 2, 1941-1952: Entering the Silence - Becoming a Monk & Writer Hardcover – January 1, 1996

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

To love oneself perfectly, Merton writes in an entry near the end of this volume, is to disappear. For a writer, it is to disappear entirely into one's writing as God disappears entirely into the world--a disappearance that makes one fully, paradoxically, present. This is the record of a remarkable twentieth-century figure perfecting his love in the process, as the subtitle has it, of becoming a monk and writer. The book includes two fragments and a complete journal, only part of which was published during Merton's lifetime. The complete journal from December 1946 to July_ 1952, which describes the tension between writing and contemplation in which Merton lived at Gethsemani, is an exemplary piece of writing about writing, as well as an invitation to active contemplation. This is the second of seven volumes scheduled to appear over the next three years. It will enchant readers who are new to Merton as well as those who encountered him for the first time in the premonastic journals of volume one and those who have known him for a long time. It will leave new readers and old acquaintances anxious for the next encounter. Steve Schroeder

From the Publisher

"Let me keep silence in this world, except in so far as God wills and in the way He wills it. Let me at least disappear into the writing I do. It should mean nothing special to me, nor harm my recollection. The work could be a prayer; its results should not concern me."-Thomas Merton, December 14, 1946

During his arduous days and nights in the silence of the monastery, the young Thomas Merton simultaneously advanced to priesthood and emerged as a surprising bestselling author when his spiritual autobiography, The Seven Story Mountain, was published in 1948. Spanning the journal entries in an eleven-year period from December 12, 1941 to July 5, 1952, Entering the Silence unfolds Merton's budding literary career and the development of his spiritual ideas in a uniquely personal literary style that would propel his writings into the mainstream. As the demands of his literary success rose, so did the tensions between remaining an observant monk and a talented, prolific writer. Faithful to both of these passions, Merton struggled with the requirements of daily monastic life while he continued to grace the world with his fresh observations and profound insights.

This second volume in the Merton journals includes passionate descriptions of monastic life -- silence, chanting, farm work, the community of monks -- and touchingly exhibits the young priest's dedication to writing. "At work -- writing -- I am doing a little better. I mean, I am less tied up in it, more peaceful and detached. Taking one thing at a time and going over it slowly and patiently and forgetting the other jobs that have to take their turn."

As Merton's talent as a writer blossomed, he eloquently reconciled his spiritual life with his writing life, drawing deep connection between the two.

Treat yourself, you've earned it

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ HarperCollins; 1st edition (January 1, 1996)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 501 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0060654767
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0060654764
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.94 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.5 x 1.5 x 9.75 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 6 ratings

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