Item description for A Catch of Anti-Letters by Thomas Merton & Robert Lax...
A gathering of correspondence between Thomas Merton and Robert Lax that spans their decades of friendship. Poems, prayers, the ordinary and the sublime, all fill these pages of frank letters that give you a new glimpse into the mind and heart of Merton.
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Studio: Sheed & Ward
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9" Width: 6.05" Height: 0.42" Weight: 0.51 lbs.
Release Date Nov 1, 1999
Publisher Sheed & Ward
ISBN 155612712X ISBN13 9781556127120
Availability 0 units.
More About Thomas Merton & Robert Lax
Thomas Merton (1915-1968) was a Trappist monk, spiritual director, political activist, social critic, and one of the most-read spiritual writers of the twentieth century. He is the author of many books, including The Seven Storey Mountain.
Reviews - What do customers think about A Catch of Anti-Letters?
Enchanting; endearing; exuberant; poetic; profound Mar 28, 2001
This volume of 55 or 60 letters represents a portion of the witty, buoyant, exuberant correspondence between Trappist monk Thomas Merton (1915-68) and minimalistic poet Robert Lax (1915-2000); the two were classmates at Columbia University in the late 1930s, and lifelong friends thereafter.
Persons familiar with the dizzying puns and polyglottal juggleries of James Joyce's prose or Estlin Cummings' poetry will find the language of these letters appealing; it helps, also, to be familiar with the life of Merton, the century's most celebrated monastic figure. Each letter is exquisitely crafted, mostly humorous; but the correspondents occasionally treat of serious matters, both political and personal, in their shared dialect.
This volume is valuable because we get to see Merton at his least soapboxish and at his most warmly affectionate. We are introduced to the quirky asceticism of Robert Lax, who was living in Kalymnos, Greece at the time these letters were written. And we are re-introduced to a childlike joy in artistic creation (yes; letters can be art).
This selection of letters, however, is about to be supplanted by a more plenary collection of the Merton/Lax letters, published under the title "When Prophecy Had a Voice," edited by Arthur Biddle. But for those who would like a comparatively inexpensive introduction to these effervescently creative minds, outdoing each other in verbal brio, lexical panache, and poetical elan, the Catch of Anti-Letters might be a dandy place to start.