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Raids On The Unspeakable

4.26  ·  Rating Details ·  161 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
Brief, but challenging essays in which the author looks candidly and without illusion at the world that man has made. Though he sees dark horizons, his ultimate answer is one of Christian hope.
Published December 1st 1994 by Hyperion Books (first published January 17th 1966)
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marie monroe
Feb 08, 2008 marie monroe rated it it was amazing
Merton's elegy to Flannery O'Connor is in here.
He describes her process: "She wrote in and out of the anatomy of a word that became genteel, then self-conscious, then obsessive, finally dying of contempt, but kept calling itself "respect"." His language is gorgeous: "...very agile fury"; "...the sweet idiot deceit"; "...rain is a festival." The chapter Answers on Art is fantastic, too.
Matt Evans
Jul 11, 2008 Matt Evans rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mr. Merton was a Catholic monk, and an amazing man. I learned a new word from this book: eschatology (having to do with the "end of times"), and Merton's discourse on the subject soothed me: every ending in this world also represents a beginning in another world.
Allison C. McCulloch
Sep 10, 2008 Allison C. McCulloch rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: seekers of wisdom & truth
Shelves: christianity
So out of all the Merton books, this was the one that I really liked. At one point I owned it, but I am not sure what happened to it. I highlighted some passages and at some point, it's due for a re-read.
Ali M.
Apr 25, 2010 Ali M. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: soul-food
Appreciated aspects of every piece in here, but "Atlas and the Fatman" is my favorite – just incredible. I didn't expect to be so enthralled with Merton's experiments with fiction.
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Thomas Merton was one of the most influential Catholic authors of the 20th century. A Trappist monk of the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani, in the American state of Kentucky, Merton was an acclaimed Catholic spiritual writer, poet, author and social activist. Merton wrote over 60 books, scores of essays and reviews, and is the ongoing subject of many biographies. Merton was also a proponent of int ...more
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“All of this is mystification. The city itself lives on its own myth. Instead of waking up and silently existing, the city people prefer a stubborn and fabricated dream; they do not care to be a part of the night, or to be merely of the world. They have constructed a world outside the world, against the world, a world of mechanical fictions which contemn nature and seek only to use it up, thus preventing it from renewing itself and man.” 0 likes
“The time will come when they will sell you even your rain.” 0 likes
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