By Thomas Merton
From 1948, while he wrote his first letters to Evelyn Waugh, who was once modifying The Seven Storey Mountain, until eventually his loss of life in 1968, Merton corresponded with writers around the globe, constructing an ever-widening circle of associates. right here accumulated within the fourth quantity of Merton's correspondence are his letters to Czeslaw Milosz, Henry Miller, Walker Percy, Boris Pasternak, and others.
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Extra resources for The Courage for Truth: Letters to Writers
READING 21 himself steering a ramshackle boat up an equally sinister and unnamed river in the heart of equatorial Africa, in search of a mysterious ivory trader called Kurtz. While it is quite hard to read Conrad’s novella in terms of the relationships between the characters—not least because no such relationships exist —it is only too easy to read it as a generalized parable against colonialism, though one in which Conrad at least partly undermines his own case through his unwillingness to relinquish a belief in the altruism of the British Empire.
There is a special circle in hell reserved for people who write in library books. You may also want to make notes of another kind, outlining the subject matter of your essay before you write it. It is generally supposed that the correct way to write an essay is to begin with notes, then to write a rough draft, and finally to rewrite the whole essay, polishing up the prose. Many people do work like this, but there is no point in making copious notes if you find that the exercise is more time-consuming than useful.
The project is both impossible and needless, since the text already encompasses the whole of itself. Instead of doing any of these things, you should find something that you want to say about the text—a discussion of its use of nature imagery; or of its response to the problem of evil; or of its satirical representation of polite society; or of the political significance of the conflict between its two central characters. Arguing your case will then be a question of arranging what you have to say in the order that makes it most effective.