Date of this Version
Documentary Editing, Volume 23, Number 3, September 2001.
ISSN 2476-1796 (electronic); ISSN 2167-1451 (print)
The publication of these 346 letters over thirty years between Thomas Merton and his friend Robert Lax, who died in Olean, New York, three months before its publication, is timely, comprehensive, definitive, and a significant contribution to Merton studies. This is not light reading. Some of the correspondence is so encoded, privatized, and self-absorbed that the reader needs to compare the letters with the other works of the same period by these writers in order to make sense of things. The edition is scholarly, reliable, a solid addition to one's personal or university library, and highly recommended.