The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author QuotedBoris Pasternak
Title QuotedSafe Conduct: An Autobiography and other Writings
Date (Year/Month/Day)1958/08/22
Imprint[S.l.] : [s.n.]. 1958
QuotationI have not yet had the pleasure of reading your recent autobiography although I am familiar with the earlier one, Safe Conduct, by which I was profoundly impressed. It may surprise you when I say, in all sincerity, that I feel much more kinship with you, in your writing, than I do with most of the great modern writers in the West. That is to say that I feel that I can share your experience more deeply and with a greater intimacy and sureness, than that of writers like [James] Joyce whom I nevertheless so well like and understand. But when you write of your youth in the Urals, in Marburg, in Moscow, I feel as if it were my own experience, as if I were you. With other writers I can share ideas, but you seem to communicate something deeper. It is as if we met on a deeper level of life on which individuals are not separate beings. In the language familiar to me as a Catholic monk, it is as if we were known to one another in God.
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. 87
Link to Merton's Copy