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The Seven Storey Mountain (1948)
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0156010860, Paperback)In 1941, a brilliant, good-looking young man decided to give up a promising literary career in New York to enter a monastery in Kentucky, from where he proceeded to become one of the most influential writers of this century. Talk about losing your life in order to find it. Thomas Merton's first book, The Seven Storey Mountain, describes his early doubts, his conversion to a Catholic faith of extreme certainty, and his decision to take life vows as a Trappist. Although his conversionary piety sometimes falls into sticky-sweet abstractions, Merton's autobiographical reflections are mostly wise, humble, and concrete. The best reason to read The Seven Storey Mountain, however, may be the one Merton provided in his introduction to its Japanese translation: "I seek to speak to you, in some way, as your own self. Who can tell what this may mean? I myself do not know, but if you listen, things will be said that are perhaps not written in this book. And this will be due not to me but to the One who lives and speaks in both." --Michael Joseph Gross
(retrieved from Amazon Sun, 27 Mar 2011 03:47:05 -0400)
This unique spiritual autobiography is the account of the growing restlessness of a brilliant and passionate young man whose search for peace and faith eventually leads him, at the age of twenty-six, to take vows in one of the most demanding religious orders - the Trappists. At the monastery, and within the "four walls of my new freedom," Merton wrote this extraordinary testament - a document of a man who withdrew from the world only after he had fully immersed himself in it. For this Fiftieth Anniversary Edition, Robert Giroux has written a memoir of how he came to publish The Seven Storey Mountain, and Merton's distinguished biographer, William H. Shannon, has supplied a note for the reader.
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