The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University



Advanced Search 


Merton's Correspondence with:

Helen Wolff; Kurt Wolff; Wolff, Kurt

Wolff, Helen, 1906-1994  printer

 
 

Descriptive Summary

Record Group: Section A - Correspondence
Dates of materials: 1958-1968, 1986
Volume: 98 item(s); 127 pg(s)

Scope and Content

Merton relied on Helen Wolff for news about Boris Pasternak. They remained in communication after Pasternak's death and shared information about new books. Merton passed along his writings, including unpublished materials such as "The Cold War Letters".

Biography

Helen Wolff was a publisher at Pantheon Books, United States publisher of Boris Pasternak's Dr. Zhivago. Her husband, Kurt Wolff, had established publishing houses in Germany and Italy. They immigrated to the United States in 1941, establishing Pantheon Books. In 1961, they moved to Harcourt Brace in New York, establishing the "Helen and Kurt Wolff Book" imprint. Kurt Wolff died in 1963. Helen continued work at Harcourt Brace until her death in 1994.

Usage Guidelines and Restrictions

Please click here for general restrictions concerning Merton's correspondence.

Related Information and Links

See also published letters from Merton to Wolff in The Courage for Truth, pp. 96-109; and see also the Helen and Kurt Wolff Papers at Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale Collection of German Literature, ‹http://webtext.library.yale.edu/xml2html/beinecke.wolffhk.con.html›.

Series List

This Record Sub-Group is not divided into Series and is arranged chronologically.

Container List

#DateFrom/ToFirst LinesPubNotes
1. 1958/09/01 TL[x] from Merton Robert Macgregor of New Directions wrote and told me that he had asked you to send me a copy of DR «detailed view»
2. 1958/09/05 TLS[x] to Merton Thank you from all my heart for the letter about Doctor Zhivago, and for your kind permission «detailed view»
3. 1958/09/11 TL[x] from Merton Thank you for your letter of the 5th, sent the same day as the telegram. I was interested to read «detailed view»
4. 1958/10/27 TLS[x] to Merton today's mail brought the enclosed communication from Boris Pasternak, written to my husband «detailed view»
5. 1958/10/31 TL[x] from Merton It would be hard to tell you how grateful and how moved I was when I received your letter and its «detailed view»
6. 1958/11/02 TLS[x] to Merton Your letter to Surkov is magnificent, and I have asked myself whether the sudden offer to let him «detailed view»
7. 1958/11/05 (#01) HLS[x] to Merton Our letters seem to be fated to cross. Thank you «detailed view»
8. 1958/11/05 (#02) TLS[x] to Merton I have written you once already today, but there is something new that has come to mind. «detailed view»
9. 1958/11/05 (#03) telegram[x] to Merton Shall try with every means to get wide circulation for your remarkable letter. «detailed view»
10. 1958/11/05 (#04) telegram[x]  from Sortais, Gabriel / to James Fox Pantheon books sollicite imprimatur lettre Merton Pasternak vous remets decision. Sortais «detailed view»
11. 1958/11/20 TLS[x] to Merton Yes, our letters seem to be fated to cross. I wish I had some news to give you about your letter «detailed view»
12. 1958/12/05 TLS[x]  from Wolff, Kurt / to Merton With reference to a remark in a letter from you addressed to Helen Wolff and concerning the Edmund «detailed view»
13. 1958/12/09 (#01) TLS[x] to Merton above all: enclosed is the translation of a letter by a German friend of B. P.'s who saw him lately. «detailed view»
14. 1958/12/09 (#01) TL[x] from ? Forgive my long silence. The illness of my wife has thrown me rather off the track, then came [from an anonymous German friend of Boris Pasternak to Kurt Wolff - original letter dated December 2 and sent with December 9 letter to Merton] «detailed view»
15. 1958/12/21 TLS[x] to Merton your letter was inspired by charity - how else could you know that we are going through a time «detailed view»
16. 1959/01/04 TALS[x] to Merton Thank you for your goodness - I felt quite ashamed that I poured out my troubles to you. «detailed view»
17. 1959/01/12 TLS[x] to Merton Your most beautiful - in substance as well as in form - Karygma came, was read, re-read, and will «detailed view»
18. 1959/01/26 TLS[x] to Merton I was deeply touched that you were good enough to part with the precious letter. I have given «detailed view»
19. 1959/01/29 TALS[x] to Merton I didn't answer your question about the two Georgian poets in Pasternak's Autobiography; Yashvili «detailed view»
20. 1959/02/02 (#01) TLS[x] to Merton here, with our warmest thanks, is the letter you so generously lent us. Also a print of the section «detailed view»
21. 1959/02/02 (#02) HLS[x]  from Pasternak, Boris / to Merton I take the opportunity to repeat you, that except the "Dr. Zh" which you should read, all the rest «detailed view»
22. 1959/02/13 TLS[x] from Merton if ever there was a time to pray for Boris Pasternak, it is now. News has come in that he feels he «detailed view»
23. 1959/02/25 (#01) TLS[x] to Merton Appalling new developments: Pasternak is no longer in Peredelkino. Ostensibly he "left" to escape «detailed view»
24. 1959/02/25 (#02) TL[x] from ? Appalling new developments: Pasternak is no longer in Peredelkino. Ostensibly he "left" to escape [originally dated February 10, 1959] «detailed view»
25. 1959/03/20 TLS[x] to Merton at long last direct news: Gerd Ruge, the German who is our main link with Pasternak, has just «detailed view»
26. 1959/04/02 TLS[x] to Merton I am anxious for you to see this copy of two letters BP sent to a Miss Roger, who is the head «detailed view»
27. 1959/04/14 TL[x] from Merton I owe you a whole variety of letters. And first of all I am grateful for all the news of Pasternak. «detailed view»
28. 1959/04/27 TL[x] to Merton thank you so much for your good letter. There is something truly marvelous in the way Pasternak «detailed view»
29. 1959/05/02 HLS[x] to Merton forgive the handwriting, but the typewriter is already en route to «detailed view»
30. 1959/05/08 TALS[x] from Merton I want my good wishes and this present to arrive with you in Zurich, and to assure you that I am «detailed view»
31. 1959/06/05 (#01) TL[x] to Merton I have to thank you for a most kind letter and the article on Zhiavgo,; the best way in which «detailed view»
32. 1959/06/05 (#02) TLS[x] to Merton I have to thank you for a most kind letter and the article on Zhiavgo,; the best way in which «detailed view»
33. 1959/06/22 TALS[x] from Merton It was good to receive your letter of the 5th and to learn that you and Kurt had arrived safely «detailed view»
34. 1959/09/24 HLS[x] to Merton forgive the handwriting - I am sitting in an «detailed view»
35. 1959/10/no? HLS[x] to Merton In haste: today the first letter from B.P. since Oct. 20 - «detailed view»
36. 1959/11/16 TALS[x] from Merton It is a long time since I was pleasantly surprised by your letter from Washington Square-- amid «detailed view»
37. 1959/11/27 TLS[x] to Merton I don't know whether you have heard from B.P. directly already that he received, finally, «detailed view»
38. 1960/01/04 TLS[x] from Merton This morning I received back from Locarno a letter I had sent to the wrong address-- the one «detailed view»
39. 1960/01/20 (#01) TALS to Merton It was such a joy to hear from you again, and to know why there had been this long, apparent silence «detailed view»
40. 1960/01/20 (#02) other to Merton "Her chapters on the Carmel are really remarkable... perhaps some of the best writing and most «detailed view»
41. 1960/02/16 HLS to Merton The reprint from Thought has come, and one copy has been dispatched, with prayers for its «detailed view»
42. 1960/02/19 TLS[x] from Merton Many thanks for the picture of Kurt. It is indeed a face ennobled by the hardships of life, «detailed view»
43. 1960/05/31 HLS[x] to Merton our great friend is dead. The news came an hour ago. My thoughts go to you, who will now remember «detailed view»
44. 1960/05/no? (#01) HLS[x] to Merton I thought you might care to see this - an obituary done for BBC by Manya Harari, the Pasternak «detailed view»
45. 1960/05/no? (#02) other[x]   TALK ON THE CHRISTIAN ASPECT OF BORIS PASTERNAK {for Mr. Gregory Macdonald of the B.B.C.) [only first couple of paragraphs copied] «detailed view»
46. 1960/06/09 TLS[x] from Merton Thank you for the thoughtful letter in which you wrote to me of Pasternak and of the end of his «detailed view»
47. 1960/06/15 (#01) TLS[x] to Merton Forgive me for answering your letter of the 9th so rapidly - and don't dream of feeling obliged «detailed view»
48. 1960/06/15 (#02) other[x]   L'AMOUR-ENERGIE [-] De l'amour nous ne considérons d'habitude (et avec quel raffinement d'analyse «detailed view»
49. 1960/07/23 TLS[x] from Merton Today I have finally been able to squeeze some of the wonderful unpublished material about Pasternak «detailed view»
50. 1960/09/05 (#01) TLS[x] from Merton Here is a copy of a letter I have sent to a friend in Paris who knows a lot about schools there. «detailed view»
51. 1960/09/05 (#02) TL[c] from Merton My Dear Friend: Perhaps you may be the one best qualified to help me in my efforts to find a school [Merton sends Wolff a copy of a letter sent to a friend in Paris on behalf of a young man in need of a good school in Europe - Merton hopes that Wolff may be able to find something in Switzerland] «detailed view»
52. 1960/09/14 TALS to Merton Two letters of your to thank for, and the angel from San Marco. (I see that it has been printed «detailed view»
53. 1961/09/26 TL[x] to Merton I have not written in a very long time, but not because "the line was dead." My son gave me, for my «detailed view»
54. 1961/10/28 HLS[x] from Merton It was so good to hear from you again. I am especially glad you are with Harcourt-Brace. «detailed view»
55. 1962/11/03 TL[x] to Merton by one of the socalled coincidences, the same mail brought, from Harcourt, A THOMAS MERTON READER «detailed view»
56. 1963/02/06 (#01) TL[x] to Merton Today, I have a great favor to ask of you: will you please think about an idea of ours with a kind «detailed view»
57. 1963/02/06 (#02) TL[x] to Merton it was most kind of your [sic] to remember us with two gifts, and I would have written you earlier «detailed view»
58. 1963/02/16 HLS[x] from Merton By all means send the Fenelon. I like him very much and would like to try an introduction. «detailed view»
59. 1963/02/19 HPCS to Merton Thank you for your [indecipherable words..] Fénelon and to us, dear Father Merton. The manuscript [verso: print of Rembrandt's "St. Paul in Prison"] «detailed view»
60. 1963/02/26 TL[x] to Merton Many thanks for the two cards from Henry Miller, which I am returning herewith; I've made «detailed view»
61. 1963/05/13 (#01) TLS[x] from Merton Finally I have finished your Fenelon Preface, and I have taken my time. Also I have enjoyed it, «detailed view»
62. 1963/05/13 (#02) TLS[x]  from Merton to Julian Muller Here is the preface, but this is not the best copy. It is only sketchily proofread and in the copy [see also the "Muller, Julian" file] «detailed view»
63. 1963/05/25 TL[x] to Merton your letter of May 13 reached me, via Locarno, in a rather roundabout way in New York (where «detailed view»
64. 1964/01/06 HLS to Merton I received Ramparts from you around Xmas time and thank you for it. It is extraordinary «detailed view»
65. 1964/03/03 (#01) TAL[c] from Merton Your letter reached me back in January and since then I have heard you are with us again. «detailed view»
66. 1964/03/03 (#02) TLS[x] from Merton Your letter reached me back in January and since then I have heard you are with us again. «detailed view»
67. 1964/03/10 TALS to Merton It seems to me a striking co-incidence that you should have written me on March 3, Kurt's birthday. «detailed view»
68. 1964/03/12 TLS to Merton After I wrote you day before yesterday, it suddenly entered my mind that there is one more book this «detailed view»
69. 1964/03/19 TL to Merton This is one of the late poems of B.P., written shortly before he died. Even in this rather Boris Pasternak poem in translation included / "It is not seemly to be famous" from 1956 «detailed view»
70. 1964/04/17 TL[c] from Merton Probably I have not yet answered your letter with the note of Kurt about the anthology of mystical «detailed view»
71. 1964/06/26 TLS to Merton I am a terrible delinquent! I should have written to you much earlier to thank you for your letter «detailed view»
72. 1964/09/11 TN   Sent to Thomas Merton [-] 3 copies of FENELON (1 was sent by JPM) [-] 1 copy of Green's Diary «detailed view»
73. 1965/07/05 (#01) TL[c] from Merton Some time ago I received the new Odojewski novel, and I was waiting to read it before thanking you, «detailed view»
74. 1965/07/05 (#02) TLS[x] from Merton Some time ago I received the new Odojewski novel, and I was waiting to read it before thanking you, «detailed view»
75. 1965/07/09 TL[x] to Merton I was pleased to hear from you again, and we have taken note of your requests for forthcoming books. «detailed view»
76. 1965/09/23 HLS[x] from Merton I suppose I can find them out «detailed view»
77. 1965/09/30 TL[x] to Merton Your letter of September 23rd addressed to Mrs. Helen Wolff was received in her absence. She is on «detailed view»
78. 1965/10/11 TLS[x] from Merton Thanks very much indeed for taking the trouble to follow up my question. Perhaps the piece «detailed view»
79. 1966/08/28 (#01) TL[c] from Merton Thanks very much for sending me Konrad Lorenz's book On Aggression. I am enjoying it Heraclitus - "war is the father of all things" - does war equal conflict? / Merton's article on Heraclitus «detailed view»
80. 1966/08/28 (#02) TLS[x] from Merton Thanks very much for sending me Konrad Lorenz's book On Aggression. I am enjoying it Heraclitus - "war is the father of all things" - does war equal conflict? / Merton's article on Heraclitus «detailed view»
81. 1966/09/02 TL[x] to Merton I have forwarded your letter of August 28th to Mrs. Helen Wolff who is in Europe and will return «detailed view»
82. 1967/06/20 HLS to Merton I blush to think for how long I had your Cold War Letters without responding to them. «detailed view»
83. 1967/08/11 (#01) TL[c] from Merton It was a surprise to get your letter back in June. I often think of you and wonder how you are. «detailed view»
84. 1967/08/11 (#02) TLS[x] from Merton It was a surprise to get your letter back in June. I often think of you and wonder how you are. «detailed view»
85. 1967/10/30 TLS to Merton I just came back from a trip to Europe and found your warm letter of August 11, and also your «detailed view»
86. 1967/11/02 (#01) TL[c] from Merton Many thanks for your letter and I am happy that you should think of me as someone appropriate «detailed view»
87. 1967/11/02 (#02) TLS[x] from Merton Many thanks for your letter and I am happy that you should think of me as someone appropriate «detailed view»
88. 1967/11/14 TLS to Merton How extraordinarily kind of you to answer so generously about an essay accompanying the LETTERS «detailed view»
89. 1968/01/08 TANS[x] from Merton I have finished the piece on the Pasternak Letters and have enjoyed writing it. «detailed view»
90. 1968/01/19 (#01) TL[c] from Merton Here is my piece on the Pasternak letters. It is longer than we at first planned but I assume that «detailed view»
91. 1968/01/19 (#02) TLS[x] from Merton Here is my piece on the Pasternak letters. It is longer than we at first planned but I assume that «detailed view»
92. 1968/01/23 HALS to Merton How wonderful that you responded so generously to the Pasternak Letters. You have done us a great [Merton's handwritten note on letter: "ok"] «detailed view»
93. 1968/01/26 HLS[x] from Merton I was glad to get your letter and to know the Pasternak piece was ok. It is certainly all right «detailed view»
94. 1986/04/25 HLS  from Stadelmaÿer, Peter Enclosed you find a xerox copy of the file »Kurt and Helen Wolff -- Thomas Merton -- Correspondence« [from Peter Stadelmaÿer to William H. Shannon] «detailed view»
95. 1986/04/29 TLS[x] from Shannon, William I am most grateful to you for your generosity in being willing to send copies to me of your «detailed view»
96. undated/no/no other[x]   ATLAS AND THE FAT MAN Once when I was journeying and came near the far end of the world [photocopy of Merton's essay, "Atlas and the Fat Man"] «detailed view»
97. undated/no/no HLS to Merton for a long time we are pondering over some publishing ideas which could, in our opinion, only be «detailed view»
98. undated/no/no HNS[x] from Merton Thanks so much for the Secret of the Golden Flower. It is one of my favorite books and I am «detailed view»

Printer-Friendly Version   Return to the Top of the Page