Friday, April 10, 2015

this is just utterly charming

MR. ELIE: Well, I got the complete stories with some money for Christmas my freshman year, I’d gone to Fordham by the way, a Jesuit college in the Bronx. Started reading the introduction by Robert Giroux, and just the best introduction to a book, I think, that I’ve still ever found. He just portrays her so vividly in a few words. And one of the ways that he does it is by comparing her to Thomas Merton and describing his visits when he edited both of their books to the South. He’d go visit Merton, this renowned monk, at his monastery, and they’d talk about Flannery O’Connor. Then he’d go to Georgia to visit Flannery O’Connor, the celebrated young Southern writer, and they’d talk about Thomas Merton. And he said that they had in common deep faith, great intelligence and a highly developed sense of comedy. So naturally, I wanted to know more about this Thomas Merton. And I bought The Seven Storey Mountain one summer day a couple of years later in the middle of an internship.