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Merton's Correspondence with:

Gregory Zilboorg

Zilboorg, Gregory, 1891-1959  printer

 
 

Descriptive Summary

Record Group: Section A - Correspondence
Dates of materials: 1956
Volume: 7 item(s); 13 pg(s)

Scope and Content

In this file is one letter from Gregory Zilboorg to Merton written shortly before the two men met in person. Zilboorg makes recommendations about what he thinks Merton should be reading concerning psychoanalysis.

Biography

Gregory Zilboorg was a prominent psychiatrist and convert to Catholicism. Merton obtained a rare permission to leave Gethsemani to hear Gregory Zilboorg lecture at St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota. Merton spoke privately to Zilboorg of his desire for more solitude and to live as a hermit at Gethsemani or to leave if that were not possible. Zilboorg considered his feelings pathological, a message Dom James, Merton's abbot, was happy to hear. It is questionable whether Zilboorg's harsh criticism, some of which may be defended, was unbiased. Merton's pre-monastic interest in Sigmund Freud was rekindled, and Zilboorg may have felt threatened by another prominent Catholic convert writing on the subject. Zilboorg writes to Merton from New York. (Source: The Thomas Merton Encyclopedia, p. 550.)

Usage Guidelines and Restrictions

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

Related Information and Links

See also the "Fox, James" file (Series 9).

Series List

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

Container List

#DateFrom/ToFirst LinesPubNotes
1. 1956/06/06 TLS to Merton This morning I found the enclosed in the last issue of the fortnightly French Edition «detailed view»
2. 1956/09/10 TLS[x] to Fox, James Your letter is more deeply appreciated than you will ever know. Your directness, and simplicity [(filed in Series 9 of the "Fox, James" correspondence) enclosed with 1956/November/07 letter from Dom James Fox to Abbot General Gabriel Sortais] «detailed view»
3. 1956/09/14 TL[x] from Merton Your letter was less of a surprise to me than it was to Father Abbot. I rather sensed this would be [(filed in Series 9 of the "Fox, James" correspondence) enclosed with 1956/November/07 letter from Dom James Fox to Abbot General Gabriel Sortais] «detailed view»
4. 1956/09/20 TLS[x] from Merton Your letter was less of a surprise to me than it was to Father Abbot. I rather sensed this would be [(filed in Series 9 of the "Fox, James" correspondence) enclosed with 1956/November/07 letter from Dom James Fox to Abbot General Gabriel Sortais] «detailed view»
5. 1956/10/09 TLS[x] from Merton Father Abbot returned from New York with the pleasant news that we might expect you down here [(filed in Series 9 of the "Fox, James" correspondence) enclosed with 1956/November/07 letter from Dom James Fox to Abbot General Gabriel Sortais] «detailed view»
6. 1957/03/21 TL[c] from Merton Your good letter came several weeks ago. I have not hastened to answer but have waited rather until [transferred from Sub-Section H.7, Hart Working Files - no last name, "Dear Gregory" - placed with Zilboorg based on content (discussion of neurosis, etc.) and time period of letter] statue for novices, John de Menil (Jean de Menil) / Fr. Ple in supplement of Vie Spirituelle - morality and conscience - neurosis in religious life / Merton reading George Orwell - wanting to read Arthur Koestler / trouble with hired psychiatrist from Cincinnati for Gethsemani novices / interested in going to a possible foundation in South America «detailed view»
7. 1958/01/18 transcript from Merton "For my own part, I think this year has been a very happy one, if by happiness one can understand [titled: "Extracts from a letter to Gregory Zilboorg Jan. 18, 1958" - this transcript of part of one of Merton's letters to Zilboorg, original not extant, is filed in Series 7 of the "Fox, James" file] «detailed view»

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