The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

Citation of Books Detail

Click here to return to the main list

Author QuotedDante Alighieri
Title QuotedParadiso. English & Italian. The Paradiso of Dante Alighieri
Date (Year/Month/Day)1939/10/09
ImprintLondon : Dent [etc.]. 1936
QuotationBegan reading Dante's Paradiso today, out of Douglaston, after Mass. More splendid than anything else before it. He starts by praying to achieve a much higher kind of writing than in the Hell and Purgatory, to fit his much higher subject: and he does. Everything is now made plain: movements are swift and easy (arrows) and the "keel" of the poetry cuts the water in a swift, straight furrow now. Perhaps it is easier to write well of difficulty - the hard climb of the mountain of Purgatory - than of the swift and breathtaking and yet unnoticed movement through nine spheres of heaven... But because heaven is, of itself, a better subject than hell and a higher one, so, with the writing being good enough and hig enough to reach the height of this subject, the Paradiso is the greatest of the three books.
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. 45
Letter to 
Notes 
Link to Merton's Copy