The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author QuotedLional Mordecai Trilling
Title QuotedBroken Mirror: A Collection of Writings from Contemporary Poland / edited by Pawel Mayewski
Date (Year/Month/Day)1959/05/21
ImprintNew York : Random House. 1958
QuotationReading The Broken Mirror, I was moved by the sense of real kinship with most of the writers. Underneath the institutional shells which distinguish us, we have the same ardent desire for truth, for peace, for sanity in life, for reality, for sincerity. But the trouble is that our very efforts to attain these things tend to harden and make more rigid the institutional shell. And a turtle without a shell is not likely to lead a happy life, especially in a world like ours. But perhaps the trouble is that we imagine ourselves turtles. I speak here of the Polish writers in The Broken Mirror. I could not seem to spot any of them as Alpha, though I was looking for him. (You did not send me his book, or at any rate I did not get it.) I thought [Kazimierz] Brandys's story "The Defense of Granada" was a very good piece and of course I felt very much involved in it, it grips one's sympathies. Parts of [Wiktor] Woroszylski's "Notes for a Biography" are also very convincing and sympathetic. I liked perhaps best the notes of Jan Strzelecki. The story by Tadeusz Rozewicz seemed to me to be quite bad, like a contribution to a college-humor magazine in this country: one that we would never have published in the Columbia Jester.
Quotation SourceThe Courage for Truth: Letters of Thomas Merton to Writers.; Selected and edited by Christine M. Bochen. / New York : Farrar Straus Giroux. 1993, p. 58
Letter toCzeslaw Milosz
Notes 
Link to Merton's Copy