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Merton's Correspondence with:

Walker Percy

Percy, Walker, 1916-1990  printer


Descriptive Summary

Record Group: Section A - Correspondence
Dates of materials: 1964-1967, 1973, 1982
Volume: 17 item(s); 22 pg(s)

Scope and Content


Walker Percy was a novelist best known for The Movie Goers, which he sent to Merton and which Merton liked very much. Born in Alabama, he grew up and lived most of the rest of his life in Louisiana. He was a convert to Catholicism and his faith influenced his writing, as did existentialism. Though a product of the South, he rebelled against the racism of the Old South but equally was skeptical of modern America and its materialistic ethic. Percy met Merton at his hermitage in the summer of 1967. The encounter was arranged since both were on the advisory board of Katallagete. There was a strained feeling between the two men-- they were fans of each other but could not seem to find conversation; however, they continued writing to each other and Merton continues to praise Percy's novels. Walker Percy writes to Merton from Covington, Louisiana. (Source: "Percy, Walker." Obituary from Current Biography. 10 May 1990. Wilson Biographies Plus. Online. H.W. Wilson. Bellarmine University Library, Louisville, KY. 2 Feb. 2006. ‹›.)

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 Percy in The Courage for Truth, pp. 281-284.

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. 1964/01/no? TL[c] from Merton There is no easy way to thank you for your book. Not only are the good words about books all used «detailed view»
2. 1964/02/14 HLS to Merton I remember the "Fr Louis" from another book you wrote. Your letter meant much to me- I am a slow «detailed view»
3. 1964/02/27 HLS to Merton Most deeply grateful for your abstract which shall hang on my wall next to Franz Kofka's motto: «detailed view»
4. 1964/03/31 TAL[c] from Merton From Le Seuil comes this letter saying they had seen the book in 1961, Knopf must have sent it, [Merton includes on the stationery some cut-out block letters spelling: "THE MONKS. MODERN MOVING... WITH OLD-FASHIONED CARE"] «detailed view»
5. 1964/04/11 HLS to Merton Most deeply grateful for your «detailed view»
6. 1966/05/29 TLS to Merton Am most grateful for your response to that novel (the writing of which is a poor thing for a grown «detailed view»
7. 1967/07/13 TLS to Merton It was a pleasure to meet you. Though I must admit I felt somewhat diffident, putting myself «detailed view»
8. 1967/07/20 (#01) TLS from Merton It is good news to hear you can perhaps use Bantu philosophy in your new book, which sound like «detailed view»
9. 1967/07/20 (#02) TL[c] from Merton It is good news to hear you can perhaps use Bantu philosophy in your new book, which sound like «detailed view»
10. 1967/08/24 (#01) TALS from Merton You are much in my thoughts as I continue my explorations of Bantu ideas. I have on interlibrary «detailed view»
11. 1967/08/24 (#02) TAL[c] from Merton You are much in my thoughts as I continue my explorations of Bantu ideas. I have on interlibrary «detailed view»
12. 1967/08/27 TLS to Merton Most grateful indeed for the stuff on the Bantu eclectics and the reference, Sundkler's book. «detailed view»
13. 1967/10/17 HCS to Merton Well, you're a white man, aren't you? [-] Walker [-] a white man gave it to me. [verso: "'When White People learn to Vote Together like negroes do, then Politicians in Washington and Baton Rouge will quit shoving you around'... In Louisiana, Whites are Uniting behind Ned Touchstone for State Superintendent of Education. He's a Segregationalist." ... "(Pass this card on to another White man)"] «detailed view»
14. 1973/11/30 TLS[x] from Center to Percy, Walker Mr. Victor Kramer at Georgia State University has requested permission to look at your «detailed view»
15. 1973/12/12 HLS to Center from Percy, Walker Thank you for your request for my correspondence with Thos Merton. Unfortunately I have already «detailed view»
16. 1982/01/20 HLS to Center from Percy, Walker Thanks for your letter. No, I have no objections to scholars seeing my letters from Merton. «detailed view»
17. 1982/01/22 TL[x] from Center to Percy, Walker Thank you for your letter of January 20, 1982. When the Trustees of the Thomas Merton Legacy Trust «detailed view»

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