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Individual Series View, Merton's Correspondence with:

Censors Reports


Series 131, Sign of Jonas


Descriptive Summary

Record Group: Section A - Correspondence
Dates of materials: 1948-1968
Volume: 449 item(s); 565 pg(s)

Scope and Content

This file includes documents allowing or banning publication of Merton's essays, books, and introductions to others' books. The standard procedure was to have him submit these works to two censors (who were to remain anonymous). If they saw nothing of d

Biography

Usage Guidelines and Restrictions

Please click here for general restrictions concerning Merton's correspondence.

Related Information and Links

Series List

Series NumberSeries NameTotal Records
1 A Dream at Arles on the Night of the Mistral 1
2 A Messenger from the Horizon 1
3 A Picture of Lee Ying 1
4 A Practical Program for Monks 1
5 Absurdity in Sacred Decoration 3
6 Active and Contemplative Orders 2
7 Advent Mystery 1
8 Advice to a Young Prophet 1
9 Alone with God 1
10 An Elegy for Ernest Hemingway 1
11 An Elegy for Five Old Ladies 5
12 And So Goodbye to Cities 1
13 And the Children of Birmingham 1
14 Apologies to an Unbeliever 2
15 Approach to Creativity 1
16 Art and Worship 19
17 Artist Soul - Roger Durey [book by Dom André Malet; translated from the French by Mother Mary St. Thomas (of Tyburn)] 1
18 Ascent to Truth 23
19 Ash Wednesday 3
20 Atlas Watches Every Evening 2
21 Attente dans le silence: le père Marie-Joseph Cassant, O. Cist. S. O., by Marie-Étienne Chenevière with preface by Merton 1
22 Balanced Life of Prayer 4
23 Baptism in the Forest [introduction to anthology, "Mansions of the Spirit: Essays in Religion and Literature"] 1
24 Baroque Gravure 2
25 Barth's Dream [included in book "Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander"] 1
26 Basic Principles of Monastic Spirituality 2
27 Behavior of Titans 1
28 Black Revolution and Cold War [unpublished book in this form, see also "Seeds of Destruction"] 6
29 Black Revolution: Letters to a White Liberal [included in book "Seeds of Destruction"] 2
30 Blessed Are the Meek: the Roots of Christian Nonviolence 1
31 Bread in the Wilderness 4
32 Carmelite Sanctity 2
33 Chant to Be Used in Processions around a Site with Furnaces 2
34 Christian Action in World Crisis [part of unpublished "Black Revolution and Cold War"] 4
35 Christian Ethics and Nuclear War [part of unpublished "Black Revolution and Cold War"] 19
36 Christian in World Crisis [book, published as "Redeeming the Time"] 1
37 Christian Life of Prayer [early draft section of "Contemplative Prayer"] 3
38 Christian Perfection [article for "The Catholic Encyclopedia for School and Home"] 3
39 Christianity and Mass Movements 1
40 Christmas Devotion 2
41 Cistercian Contemplatives 3
42 City of God by St. Augustine, preface for the Modern Library Edition by Thomas Merton 1
43 Classic Chinese Thought 1
44 Clement of Alexandria: Selections from the Protreptikos 1
45 Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander 2
46 Contemplation 1
47 Contemplation and the Priesthood 1
48 Contemplation in a Rocking Chair 1
49 Death of a Trappist 2
50 Disputed Questions 5
51 Early Legend 1
52 Easter: The New Life 5
53 Edifying Cables or Familiar Liturgies of Misunderstanding [book, published as "Cables to the Ace or Familiar Liturgies of Misunderstanding"] 2
54 Elegy for James Thurber 1
55 English Mystics 4
56 Exile Ends in Glory 1
57 Faith and Violence 2
58 Few Questions - Fewer Answers 1
59 First and Last Thoughts [preface to "A Thomas Merton Reader"] 1
60 Gethsemani: The Life of Praise 1
61 Gloss of the Sin of Ixion 2
62 Good Samaritan 2
63 Grace's House 1
64 Hagia Sophia 1
65 Herakleitos the Obscure 1
66 Hermit Life 1
67 Homily on Mary 1
68 Human Way Out, The [preface to book, "Breakthrough to Peace"] 2
69 Humanity of Christ in Monastic Prayer 1
70 In Search of a Yogi, by Denys Rutledge [preface] 2
71 Integrity 1
72 Is Mysticism Normal? 1
73 Jesuits in China 2
74 Jorge Carrera Andrade 1
75 Last of the Fathers 5
76 Laudate Dominum [sound recording] 2
77 Let the Poor Man Speak 1
78 Letter to Pablo Antonio Cuadra Concerning Giants 4
79 Letters in Time of Crisis 1
80 Life and Holiness 2
81 Light in Darkness 1
82 Liturgy and Spiritual Personalism 3
83 Living Bread 1
84 Loretto and Gethsemani 1
85 Love Winter When the Plant Says Nothing 2
86 Macarius the Younger and Macarius and the Pony 1
87 Machine Gun in the Fallout Shelter 2
88 Miscellaneous Correspondence Concerning Censorship 14
89 Monastic Peace 5
90 Monk in the Diaspora 1
91 Morte d'Urban, by J.F. Powers [book review] 1
92 Mount Athos 1
93 Mystery of the Church in St. Ignatius of Antioch (Church and Bishop in St. Ignatius of Antioch) 3
94 Mystics and Zen Masters 4
95 Name of the Lord 1
96 Nativity Kerygma 2
97 New Man 5
98 New Seeds of Contemplation 11
99 Night Flowering Cactus 1
100 No Man Is an Island 4
101 Notes for a Philosophy of Solitude 5
102 Notes on Art and Worship 3
103 Notes on Sacred Art 3
104 Notes on the Lord's Prayer [book foreword] 1
105 O Sweet Irrational Worship 1
106 On Remembering Monsieur Delmas 1
107 Original Child Bomb 2
108 Pasternak, Boris (The Pasternak Affair in Perspective, and Boris Pasternak and the People with Watch Chains) 6
109 Peace in the Post-Christian Era 5
110 Peace: Christian Duties and Perspectives 5
111 Portait of Peter Damian 1
112 Postulant's Guide 1
113 Prayer for Peace 1
114 Présence a Dieu et a soi meme, by Fr. François de Sainte-Marie, O.C.D. 1
115 Primacy of Contemplation 1
116 Primative Carmelite Ideal 3
117 Prometheus 5
118 Prophetic Ambiguities: Milton and Camus 1
119 Rain and the Rhinoceros 1
120 Reflections on the Character and Genius of Fenelon 1
121 Russian Mystics, by Sergius Bolshakoff with a preface by Thomas Merton 1
122 Sacred Art and the Spiritual Life (Sacred Art and Religion) 2
123 Saint John of the Ladder 2
124 Saints for Now, by Clare Boothe Luce with an essay by Merton regarding St. John of the Cross 8
125 Seasons of Celebration 2
126 Secular Journal 16
127 Seeds of Contemplation 2
128 Seeking God 1
129 Selections from Gandhi, selected and with an introduction by Thomas Merton 3
130 Seven Archaic Images 2
131 Sign of Jonas 18
132 Signed Confession of Crimes against the State 1
133 Some Poems of Raissa Maritain 2
134 Song for Nobody 1
135 Song for the Death of Averroes 2
136 Song: If You Seek 1
137 Soul of the Apostolate 3
138 Spirit of simplicity 3
139 Spiritual Direction [article for the New Catholic Encyclopedia] 1
140 Spiritual Direction 1
141 Spiritual Father in the Desert Tradition 2
142 Spiritual Life 1
143 Target Equals City 5
144 Tears of the Blind Lions 2
145 The Fall 1
146 The Moment of Truth 1
147 The Moslems' Angel of Death: Algeria 1961 1
148 The Ox Mountain Parable 1
149 There Has to Be a Jail for Ladies 1
150 Third Spiritual Alphabet, by Francisco de Osuna [book review by Merton] 1
151 Thoughts in Solitude 8
152 To Alphonso Cortes 1
153 Tower of Babel 4
154 Trappist Cistercian Salve Regina (Hail, Holy Queen) [meditation on the text] 1
155 Trappists Go to Utah 1
156 Tribute to Greatness 4
157 Two Chinese Classics 5
158 Universe as Epiphany 2
159 Virginity and Humanism in the Fathers 1
160 Vocation to Solitude 4
161 Waters of Siloe 1
162 Way of Chuang Tzu 1
163 Way of Perfection 1
164 What Are These Wounds? 1
165 What Is Contemplation? 1
166 What Is Meditation? 1
167 Why Some Look Up to Planets and Heroes 1
168 Wisdom in Emptiness: A Dialogue between Daisetz T. Suzuki and Thomas Merton 1
169 Wisdom of the Desert 6

Container List

Series#DateFrom/ToFirst LinesPub ✓Notes
 y/m/dMerton Scan ✉ 
Series 131 #1.
«All Series«
1952/08/09 TLS by Bourne, Paul As we have been directed, I address to you this critique of Father Louis' latest book, The Sign "Sign of Jonas" [book] - censor's comments from Fr. Paul Bourne, O.C.S.O., Holy Ghost Abbey, Conyers, Georgia «detailed view»
Series 131 #2.
«All Series«
1952/08/25 TALS by Ahern, Barnabas I hope sincerely that St. Louis' day has brought many graces. I offered Holy Mass for you this "Sign of Jonas" [book] - censor's criticism from Fr. Barnabas Ahern, C.P., of the Passionist Fathers of Chicago - 2 pages of typed letter and handwritten note verso with seven pages of "doctrinal suggestions" and five pages of "typographical corrections" «detailed view»
Series 131 #3.
«All Series«
1952/08/28 (#01) TLS by Heneghan, John As you are probably aware, Mr. Robert Giroux, Editor in Chief of Harcourt, Brace and Company, "Sign of Jonas" [book] - Msgr. John J. Heneghan, Vice Chancellor of the Diocese of Brooklyn, sends a message concerning censorship and encloses the notes of their censor (see Item #2 of the same date) «detailed view»
Series 131 #4.
«All Series«
1952/08/28 (#02) other by Censor (anonymous) Report of Censor on "The Sign of Jonas," by Thomas Merton 1) Pg.9A, Apr.25, 3rd par., line 2 "Sign of Jonas" [book] - notes of their censor of the Diocese of Brooklyn on typographical errors, doctrinal errors, and matters of good taste (see Item #1 of the same date) «detailed view»
Series 131 #5.
«All Series«
1952/09/02 (#01) TLS by Heneghan, John Enclosed please find a copy of my letter of this date to Mr. Giroux of Harcourt, Brace and Company "Sign of Jonas" [book] - Msgr. John J. Heneghan, Vice Chancellor of the Diocese of Brooklyn, sends a message concerning censorship and encloses a copy of a letter sent to Merton's editor, Robert Girioux (see Item #2 of the same date) «detailed view»
Series 131 #6.
«All Series«
1952/09/02 (#02) TL[c]  from Heneghan, John / to Robert Giroux Enclosed please find twenty-seven pages of the galley proofs of "The Sign of Jonas" by Thomas Merton "Sign of Jonas" [book] - Msgr. John J. Heneghan, Vice Chancellor of the Diocese of Brooklyn, sends a message to Merton's editor, Robert Girioux, with Nihil Obstat from the Censor Librorum of Brooklyn, Thomas W. Smiddy, and the Imprimatur of Archbishop Thomas Edmund Molloy of the Diocese of Brooklyn (see also Item #1 of the same date) «detailed view»
Series 131 #7.
«All Series«
1952/09/05 other by Malloy, Maurice The Manuscript of a projected book should be submitted to the censor before being given to any "Sign of Jonas" [book] - censor's criticism from Fr. Maurice Malloy of Guadalupe Monastery in Pecos, New Mexico - thinks Merton's intimate "self-revelations" from journal to be "a matter of questional prudence—a sort of self-canonization ante mortem." «detailed view»
Series 131 #8.
«All Series«
1952/09/05 other by Malloy, Maurice The Manuscript of a projected book should be submitted to the censor before being given to any "Sign of Jonas" [book] - censor's comments from Fr. Maurice Malloy, O.C.S.O., Our Lady of Guadalupe, Pecos, New Mexico «detailed view»
Series 131 #9.
«All Series«
1952/09/13 HLS by Malloy, Maurice I am beginning this letter quite literally with a hospital thermometer in my mouth – so little time "Sign of Jonas" [book] - censor's criticism from Fr. Maurice Malloy of Guadalupe Monastery in Pecos, New Mexico - thinks Merton's fans will enjoy the book but that it needs much editing of "ephemeral" elements «detailed view»
Series 131 #10.
«All Series«
1952/09/24 HLS[x] from Malloy, Maurice I have this morning wired Robert Giroux "Nihil Obstat. No further changes in Sign of Jonas." «detailed view»
Series 131 #11.
«All Series«
1952/09/30 TL[c] to Sortais, Gabriel La lettre de Dom James m'a annoncé- en m'etonnant un peu- votre décision au sujet de notre Journal, "Sign of Jonas" [book] - letter likely from Merton to Abbot General Gabriel Sortais «detailed view»
Series 131 #12.
«All Series«
1952/10/12 (#01) TL[x]  from Maritain, Jacques / to Robert Giroux Je vous remercie cordialement de m'avoir envoyé les épreuves de The Sign of Jonas. "Sign of Jonas" [book] - Jacques Maritain responds to Merton's editor and publisher Robert Giroux who had asked Maritain's impressions of the book - Maritain states that there are few books in contemporary literature that touch him so profoundly (see Item #2 of the same date for an English translation) «detailed view»
Series 131 #13.
«All Series«
1952/10/12 (#02) transcript  from Maritain, Jacques / to Robert Giroux I thank you cordially for having sent me the proofs of THE SIGN OF JONAS. What do I think of this "Sign of Jonas" [book] - Jacques Maritain responds to Merton's editor and publisher Robert Giroux who had asked Maritain's impressions of the book - Maritain states that there are few books in contemporary literature that touch him so profoundly «detailed view»
Series 131 #14.
«All Series«
1952/10/16 TL[x] to Derzelle, Albert I had delayed for some time in writing to you since I thought perhaps a letter from you might be on [see also "Derzelle, Abert" file] "Sign of Jonas" [book] - from Merton to Dom Albert Derzelle, O.C.S.O., Prior of Caldey Abbey - Sign of Jonas going to print and advertisement before getting Dom Albert's approval as censor - asks permission to continue with publication and retaining as a journal / Merton states, "the whole idea of a Journal has always appeared to me as an indecency-- although I enjoyed writing it" «detailed view»
Series 131 #15.
«All Series«
1952/10/19 HLS by Sortais, Gabriel La lettre de Dom James m'a annoncé- en m'etonnant un peu- votre décision au sujet de notre Journal, "Sign of Jonas" [book] - letter difficult to read, but envelope is marked "Jonas," written while Abbot General Gabriel Sortais was on a visit to the Trappist monastery at Lan-Tao in Japan «detailed view»
Series 131 #16.
«All Series«
1952/11/13 transcript from Albert of the Blessed Sacrament, Fr., O.C.D. I feel thoroughly ashamed, partly for not writing before, partly for all the trouble where I put you "Sign of Jonas" [book] «detailed view»
Series 131 #17.
«All Series«
1952/no/no? TN by Malloy, Maurice Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Guadalupe [-] Pecos, New Mexico [-] CENSOR'S REMARKS ON "Sign of Jonas" [book] - censor's criticism from Fr. Maurice Malloy of Guadalupe Monastery in Pecos, New Mexico - sees a sequel to a conversion story is of "questionable (problematique) prudence-- a sort of self-canonization ante mortem" and suggests that Merton put it aside for three years, but for practicality agrees that the printer may proceed «detailed view»
Series 131 #18.
«All Series«
1954/06/27 TLS by de Bourbon, Clément Veuillez m'excuser de répondre en retard à votre lettre du 8, je pensais attendre la réponse "Sign of Jonas," translated into French ("Le signe de Jonas") [book] - SEE: "Ascent to Truth" file, the letter concerns both books «detailed view»

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