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Merton's Correspondence with:

Herbert Mason

Mason, Herbert, 1932-2017  printer


Descriptive Summary

Record Group: Section A - Correspondence
Dates of materials: 1959-1992
Volume: 71 item(s); 111 pg(s)

Scope and Content


Herbert Mason is a professor of Arabic and Islamic studies in the history and religion departments of Boston University in Massachusetts. He first became interested in his field through contact with Louis Massignon. Mason later introduced Merton to Massignon. Mason has written and translated many middle eastern texts from a narrative on the Gilgamesh epic to a translation of Massignon's most famous work, The Passion of al-Hallaj. (Sources: Witness to Freedom, p. 259; and "Herbert Mason" Boston University (website). Accessed 5 Dec. 2005.

Usage Guidelines and Restrictions

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

Related Information and Links

See also Cold War Letters #52 and other letters from Merton published in Witness to Freedom, pp. 259-274; and see also the "Massignon, Louis" file.

Series List

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

Container List

#DateFrom/ToFirst LinesPub ✓Notes
 y/m/dMerton Scan ✉ 
1. 1959/02/03 TAL[x]  from Merton to Rochefort Votre livre sur S. Jean de la Croix est très bien fait, très clair et je l'ai beaucoup goùté. «detailed view»
2. 1959/05/21 (#01) HLS to Merton I have wanted to write you to thank you for your thoughtful assistance in the arrangements for me. «detailed view»
3. 1959/05/21 (#02) other to Merton HERBERT MASON [-] MILL HOLLOW "Everything must be imagined." - The Idiot [poem "Mill Hollow" by Herbert Mason] «detailed view»
4. 1959/06/06 TALS[x] from Merton Your paragraph on Prometheus echoes very exactly and sums up what I have been driving at. «detailed view»
5. 1959/06/16 HLS to Merton I appreciate very much your letter and your including me in your correspondence. "And having become «detailed view»
6. 1959/08/02 TALS to Merton When I wrote you in June, I mentioned that I would like to write again later in the summer -briefly- «detailed view»
7. 1959/08/24 TLS[x] from Merton One of the most fascinating things I have had my hands on in a long time is that offprint of Louis «detailed view»
8. 1959/08/31 TALS to Merton Many thanks for your letter and your booklet on Pasternak which I have a few minutes ago finished «detailed view»
9. 1959/09/03 TLS[x] from Merton Your fine letter just came, with the new copy of the poem, which I shall send right along to New «detailed view»
10. 1959/09/19 HLS to Merton Thank you very much for your letter and your thoughtful efforts about the 'poem'. «detailed view»
11. 1959/09/24 HLS to Merton Last evening I met with Louis Massignon and we talked a bit about your interest in the Seven «detailed view»
12. 1959/11/14 TLS[x] from Merton It is a long age since I have written to any of you and you must think I have forgotten all my «detailed view»
13. 1959/11/26 (#01) HLS to Merton Thank you for your letter - I am sorry about your news of having been in the hospital. «detailed view»
14. 1959/11/26 (#02) other to Merton The sound of sea, the breathing that calls [-] the soul to come away, to become driftwood [poem by Mason entitled, "Bec Vilin"] «detailed view»
15. 1959/12/24 TLS[x] from Merton I am sorry to have let your letter go so long without a reply. As you can well imagine, I have been «detailed view»
16. 1959/12/28 TLS to Merton Thank you for your book; it has a strong current in it and many interesting thoughts; «detailed view»
17. 1960/01/01 HPCS to Merton I received your last letter and your thoughts for M. Rochefort are encouraging. [dated Feast of the Circumcision] «detailed view»
18. 1960/02/01 TALS to Merton As of 3:25 pm yesterday we have been the parents of a little girl, Cathleen Marie, and I wanted «detailed view»
19. 1960/02/06 TLS[x] from Merton Wonderful news- all the more wonderful to me because Catherine Mary saw the light on my birthday, «detailed view»
20. 1960/05/03 TALS to Merton I wanted to forward the news (enclosed) and to say that Louis and the other 700 'demonstrators' were «detailed view»
21. 1960/06/01 TALS[x] from Merton It is hopeless for me to try to write you a really good letter. I just delay writing and then write «detailed view»
22. 1960/06/08 TALS to Merton This letter comes in sort of a haste because we have been given a 'scholarship' aboard an Italian «detailed view»
23. 1960/06/28 TLS to Merton We arrived in NY and will be at the above address for a week, then the Maine one.. «detailed view»
24. 1960/07/05 TLS[x] from Merton Thank you for the several letters, and I am glad you are not in the country. I got your letter, «detailed view»
25. 1960/08/02? HNS[x]  from Merton to Fr. Francis, O.C.S.O. I will be over to see Herbert Mason at about 8:15 this morning - I could not tell him exactly last «detailed view»
26. 1960/08/20 TLS to Merton Malheureusement, j'étais enrhumé à New York après des visites avec M. Rice, M. MacGregor, «detailed view»
27. 1960/09/08 (#01) TALS to Merton I wanted to drop you a brief note to tell you of our immediate plans. I have been offered a job «detailed view»
28. 1960/09/08 (#02) other to Merton Encomium [-] I have tasted the slightest taint of blood [-] And now the nettles close around [two typescripts of poems by Mason enclosed, "Encomium" and "Eve"] «detailed view»
29. 1960/09/29 TLS to Merton Just a brief note. Am enjoying the teaching at St. Joseph's and finding the students and their «detailed view»
30. 1960/10/15 TALS to Merton I have received a note from Louis written by Mme. Massignon. He is in the hospital having just «detailed view»
31. 1960/10/19 TLS to Merton Did you ever get a little article of Louis' on Muslim ' Time' ? Well, if I could only get out «detailed view»
32. 1960/10/25 HLS to Merton Two letters from Louis 'en clinique'... He asks me to write you for your prayers, the 29th «detailed view»
33. 1960/11/12 HLS to Merton You may have heard that Mme. Maritain died two days ago. Louis has written me of this news very «detailed view»
34. 1960/11/26 TALS to Merton Thank you for sending the notes of your Presentation sermon and the text. It was very good for me «detailed view»
35. 1960/12/15 TLS to Merton Dorothy Day is publishing in this month's C.Worker a little article of mine on "caritas" which «detailed view»
36. 1961/01/14 (#01) TALS[x] from Merton It is a long time since I have written. Four or five good letters from you, and I have not answered [annotations by Mason] «detailed view»
37. 1961/01/14 (#02) other[x] from Merton THE MOSLEMS' ANGEL OF DEATH. [-] Like a jeweled peacock he stirs all over [photocopy of a poem by Merton] «detailed view»
38. 1961/04/03 HLS to Merton I gather from Louis' letter yesterday that he is in better health but greatly distressed over recent «detailed view»
39. 1961/07/16 HALS[x] from Merton Thanks for your two letters and especially [indecipherable word..] for the CW which is always [annotations by Mason] «detailed view»
40. 1961/07/25 TALS to Merton We sent the pilgrims a telegram the morning of Ste. Madeleine; and today Louis and Mme. Massignon «detailed view»
41. 1961/07/31 TLS[x] from Merton You were perfectly right to give me your frank observations on the "chant", and I respect your «detailed view»
42. 1961/08/19 HPCS[x] from Merton Well Catholic Worker snatched the Auschwitz piece well before the Beats in California «detailed view»
43. 1961/09/13 TLS to Merton I have been in the arduous process of moving our belongings and dilapidations to a new 1st floor «detailed view»
44. 1961/10/11 HPCS[x] from Merton I appreciated your remarks on the Cuadra letter. It won't be published here, at least not without [dated 1961/10/01 in the published letters] «detailed view»
45. 1961/11/11 TLS to Merton It seems I am never, in this life at least, to hear from Madawaska about a Trappist monastery: «detailed view»
46. 1961/12/04 HPCS[x] from Merton I got your letter and was able to participate in both parts. I heard about the terrible business, [dated 1961/12/01 in the published letters] «detailed view»
47. 1962/01/09 HLS to Merton I have owed you a letter for some time and since I don't see any ideal free time forecast, «detailed view»
48. 1962/02/04 TALS to Merton I think you owe me a note but your pamphlets and articles and books you've sent me have more «detailed view»
49. 1962/02/27 TLS to Merton I seem to like to pile letter upon letter, as if I were laboring under a passion for making a mystic «detailed view»
50. 1962/03/09 (#01) TLS[x] from Merton I am going to become a worse and worse correspondent I am afraid. So you must be prepared [Cold War Letters #52] «detailed view»
51. 1962/03/09 (#02) transcript from Merton I am going to become a worse and worse correspondent I am afraid. So you must be prepared [Cold War Letters #52 - transcript from bound set] «detailed view»
52. 1962/06/27 TALS[x] from Massignon, Louis your Wife's crystallization is, indeed, a rather natural process, -and doesn't require as [forwarded to Merton] «detailed view»
53. 1962/11/17 TAL[c] from Merton Thank you for informing me so promptly of the solemn news of Louis' death. I had been thinking «detailed view»
54. 1963/05/20 TLS[x] from Merton I have a copy of Louis' Parole Donnée and am reading it here and there, that is I am not «detailed view»
55. 1963/11/15 TLS to Merton Coincidence I am writing you on the anniversary of Louis' requiem mass. My correspondence has been «detailed view»
56. 1964/01/06 TAL[c] from Merton Epiphany morning, lots of rain, a moment of quiet before the High Mass: I want to answer your «detailed view»
57. 1964/09/27 TAL[c] from Merton It has been good to hear from you, letter, poem. note with poem. I liked the poem and felt «detailed view»
58. 1965/03/22 HLS to Merton It's been a long time since I've written; hope this doesn't press in upon your time. Like you, «detailed view»
59. 1965/04/20 (#01) TLS[x] from Merton I fully intended to write to you before Holy Saturday to tell you how moved I was at the news «detailed view»
60. 1965/04/20 (#02) TLS[x] from Merton I fully intended to write to you before Holy Saturday to tell you how moved I was at the news «detailed view»
61. 1967/07/no? TLS[x]  from Merton to Friends Recently I heard of the following strange event. Frank Sheed, in London, was awakened [see "Circular Letters to Friends" file - some other copies labeled "MIDSUMMER 67"] «detailed view»
62. 1967/08/17 TL[c] from Merton Thanks very much for sending me the statement of Noam Chomsky, which I thought excellent. «detailed view»
63. 1967/08/27 TALS to Merton Your letter of the 17th was forwarded to me up here at East Sebago, Maine, where we are vacationing «detailed view»
64. 1967/08/no? HNS to Merton Prof. Noam Chomsky mailed these matters recently to me and asked if I would forward a copy to you [see "A CALL TO RESIST ILLEGITIMATE AUTHORITY" in the "Chomsky, Noam" file] «detailed view»
65. 1969/03/13 TLS[x] from Lawlor, Patrick I have just read your very fine tribute to Thomas Merton, noting also that you had a long exchange «detailed view»
66. 1987/06/04 HLS[x] to Giroux, Robert Enclosed are copies of ten letters from Tom Merton, written in the period of my forthcoming [from Mason to Bob Giroux of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, publishers] «detailed view»
67. 1987/06/23 TALS[x]  from Giroux, Robert / to William Shannon I enclose copies of ten historic Merton letters to Herbert Mason, whose book on Louis Massignon, [from Bob Giroux of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, publishers to Fr. William H. Shannon, general editor of Merton's published correspondence] «detailed view»
68. 1992/09/20 TALS[x] from Shannon, William It was good to talk with you on the phone. I am excited about getting the rest of Merton's letters «detailed view»
69. 1992/12/04 transcript from Shannon, William Herbert Mason told me that he visited Merton at Gethsemani in August of 1960 [William Shannon's transcript of a telephone conversation with Herbert Mason] «detailed view»
70. 1992/12/05 TALS to Shannon, William Enclosed some more Merton cards, letters, notes for your use (copies). You'll recall I sent you «detailed view»
71. undated/no/no other[x] from Merton PASSIVITY AND ABUSE OF AUTHORITY [-] The following very interesting texts are taken from «detailed view»

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