The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author QuotedJames Joyce
Title QuotedPortrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Date (Year/Month/Day)1941/11/27
Imprint[S.l.] : [s.n.]. 1916I
QuotationI spent maybe the whole afternoon writing a letter to Aldous Huxley and when I was finished I thought "who am I to be telling this guy about mysticism" and now I remember that until I read his Ends and Means just about four years ago, I hadn't known a thing about mysticism, not even the word. The part he played in my conversion, by that book, was quite great. Just how great a part a book can play in a conversion is questionable: several books figured in mine. Gilson's Spirit of Medieval Philosophy was the first and from it more than any other book I learned a healthy respect for Catholicism. Then Ends and Means from which I learned to respect mysticism. Maritain's Art and Scholasticism was another-and Blake's poems; maybe Evelyn Underhill's Mysticism although I read precious little of it. Joyce's Portrait of the Artist got me fascinated in Catholic sermons (!) What horrified him began to appeal to me! It seemed quite sane. Finally, G. F. Lahey's life of G. M. Hopkins.
Quotation SourceRun to the mountain: The Story of a Vocation. The journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 1, 1939-1941.; Edited by Patrick Hart, O.C.S.O. / San Francisco : Harper Collins. 1995, p. 455
Link to Merton's Copy