The first thing to remember about Thomas Merton is what Merton scholars sometimes refer to as his "inconsistency." As a writer Merton is quite capable of advocating contradictory positions within the same work (sometimes even on the same page). An unsympathetic reader of this feature of Merton's prose might demand more rigorous editing (the very recommendation made by Evelyn Waugh for The Seven Storey Mountain). A more sympathetic reader sees that Merton's writing reflected the inherent ambiguities which description of personal experience entails.



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