“Fake Optimism”

Apr 24 2008 @ 5:25pm

A reader writes:

I’m currently reading this collection of the correspondence between two of my favorite writers, "Striving Towards Being: The Letters of Thomas Merton and Czeslaw Milosz," that spans the last 10 years of Merton’s life. It’s a fascinating read that for some reason is not currently in print (though used copies can be found quite easily online). When I read the following from Merton I had to chuckle. I guess people are people, whether it’s 1960 (when this letter was written) or today:

"It is quite true that I ought to speak more with the accents of my time. They are serious, they are not just a pose, the bitterness of people is not just something to be dismissed. I detest the fake optimism that is current in America, including in American religion. I shall continue to think about these things."