The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author QuotedBoris Pasternak
Title QuotedDoctor Zhivago
Date (Year/Month/Day)1958/10/23
Imprint[S.l.] : Pantheon. 1958
QuotationSince my first letter to you I have obtained and read the book [Dr. Zhivago] published by Pantheon, and it has been a great and rewarding experience. First of all it has astounded me with the great number of sentences that I myself might have written, and in fact perhaps have written... The book is a world in itself, a sophiological world, a paradise and a hell, in which the great mystical figures of Yurii and Lara stand out as Adam and Eve and though they walk in darkness walk with their hand in the hand of God. The earth they walk upon is sacred because of them. It is the sacred earth of Russia, with its magnificent destiny which remains hidden for it in the plans of God. To me the most overwhelmingly beautiful and moving passage is the short, tranquil section in the Siberian town where Yurii lying in the other room listens through the open door to the religious conversation of Lara and the other woman. This section is as it were the "ey" of a hurrican"”that calm center of whirlwind, the emptiness in which is truth, spoken in all its fullness, in quiet voice, by lamplight. But it is hard to pick out any one passage.
JournalThe Courage for Truth: Letters of Thomas Merton to Writers.; Selected and edited by Christine M. Bochen. / New York : Farrar Straus Giroux. 1993, p. 89
Link to Merton's Copy