Vote Blue 2020

Vote Blue 2020

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

My latest favorite author is Thomas Merton, a Trappist Monk, who died in 1968. I just ordered from Amazon, 'The Intimate Merton,' selections from his Journals. Merton is an extraordinary writer. I base this on 'The Seven Storey Mountain,' and 'Asian Journals.'

I trace a long crooked path (in no particular order) bringing me to Merton: Robert Louis Stevenson, Kurt Vonnegut, Charles Dickens, Joseph Heller, Charles Bukowski, Hunter Thompson, Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, John Irving, Herman Melville, Nelson Algren, Thomas McGuane, William Blake, Paul Bowles, Norman Mailer, Robert Pirsig, Ken Kesey, Nick Tosches, Peter Mathiessen, Jean Genet, W.G. Sebald, Vladimir Nabokov, Sam Shepard, Samuel Beckett, Arthur Miller, Robert Coover, Yukio Mishima, William Vollman, Michael Herr.

I would say these authors have been my 'mentors,' I'm sure there are others I've forgotten. I have spent much of my life searching for: experience, knowledge, wisdom.

Some of these authors have lived a life of madness and excess, some have tried in their way to be 'free,' to be 'holy.' They are all unique individuals, but to me, they illustrate the basic 'unity' underlying all human experience.

Merton says a 'man of faith' is one who is unafraid to wrestle with doubt. Sometimes the wisdom is in the 'wrestling.'

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