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Striving towards Being: the Letters of Thomas Merton and Czeslaw Milosz Hardcover – 1 Jan 1997
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About the Author
Czeslaw Milosz is Professor of Slavic Languages and Literature at the University of California at Berkeley.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
These are two alert minds, discussing everything from Communism to segregation, Catholicism to television, campus unrest to poetry. We see in Milosz a salubrious skepticism toward some of Merton's progressive enthusiasms, and even a sharp critique of those who would equate the flaws of American capitalism with the grave sins of Stalinism (Milosz uses the word "injustice" rather pointedly). During campus unrest at Berkeley, Milosz notes that the More Compassionate Than Thou seem to have compassion for everyone but "squares." Milosz is neither pacifist nor anarch, and in one or two instances provides a valuable counterpoint to Merton's views -- particularly on communism, which Milosz saw up close.
Interesting, to see the views of both men concur about the liturgical changes in the Catholic Church (not much enthusiasm for them); about confession, Milosz explains some "problems" he has had, and Merton gives us his views on what occurs during the Sacrament. There is much about poetry -- one or two poems by each author are included -- and about a magazine which Merton edited in his final days, "Monks Pond."
Mertonians will enjoy this volume, and even persons such as this reviewer, whose respect for Merton is not to be confused with discipleship or idolatry. Milosz has a sharp mind, able to discourse with breathtaking ease about Marx, Hegel, and the heresy of Socinianism (?!) -- about the plight of four Polish writers nicknamed Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta -- about the spirit of the Sixties & some of its less palatable side effects. I was inspired by "Striving Towards Being" to explore the poetry of Czeslaw Milosz, and was not disappointed.
I believe that the other two were from an online competitor. But, by my recollections, Amazon was as fast if not faster than the other two purchases.
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