"They were the first Christian hermits, who abandoned the cities of the pagan world to live in solitude": First edition of Thomas Merton's The Wisdom of the Desert
The Wisdom of the Desert: Some Sayings of the Desert Fathers.
Item Number: 96546
New York: New Directions, 1960.
First edition of Merton’s selection of proverbs from the early nomadic Christians of the Egyptian Desert. Octavo, original cloth. Very good in a very good dust jacket.
In 1941, aspiring author Thomas Merton decided to give up a promising literary career in New York to enter the Abbey of Gethsemani, a community of monks belonging to the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (Trappists), the most ascetic Roman Catholic monastic order. From Gethsemani, Merton proceeded to become arguably the most influential American Catholic author of the 20th century. The twenty-seven years he spent in the monastery impelled him into the political arena, where he became, according to Daniel Berrigan, the conscience of the peace movement of the 1960's.
Other Books by this Author
“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time": Thomas Merton's No Man Is An Island; inscribed by him
New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1955.
First edition, early printing of Merton’s reflections on the spiritual life. Octavo, original cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the half-title page, “A – with all best wishes in Xt Fr. M Louis.” Near fine in a very good dust jacket with some light wear to the crown and foot of the spine. Books signed by Merton are rare as he lived most of his life in the Abbey of Gethsemani.
First Edition of Thomas Merton's Seasons of Celebration: Meditations on the Cycle of Liturgical Feasts
New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1965.
First edition of this work by Merton. Octavo, original cloth. Fine in a very good dust jacket.
New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1953.
First edition of the daily journal of American Trappist monk Thomas Merton. Octavo, original cloth, pictorial endpapers. Signed by Thomas Merton on the title page. Very good in a near fine price-clipped dust jacket.
Original signed artwork from Thomas Merton. In the last decade of his life, while living as a hermit-monk in dialogue with the world, Thomas Merton created a body of visual art, drawing from the Zen Buddhist tradition. When he was a student at Columbia University, Merton sought out a Hindu monk named Bramachari for counsel. The monk advised Merton to follow his own Christian tradition to find what he was most deeply looking for. A strong admirer of Gandhi, Merton also noted how Gandhi, a Hindu, had found a congenial ‘ second home’ of sorts in the Christian Sermon on the Mount. In the 1950’s Merton began exploring Buddhism, especially Zen Buddhism. He thought he found some resonance between Zen and the Desert Fathers. Merton sent a copy of his study of the Desert Fathers to Daisetsu Suzuki, the leading exponent of Zen in the west. They began a long correspondence in the late 1950’s, and Suzuki’s influence can be seen in Merton’s artwork. Includes a letter from activist W.H. Ferry, which reads, “4/3/68 For Mary Sue Dilliard: Daisetsu Suzuki told Father Tom Merton in 1965 that the only way finally to understand Zen was to practice calligraphy. This is the result: one of Tom’s earliest calligraphs. W.H. Ferry.” On the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions letterhead, which Ferry was the Vice President. Matted and framed, which measures 13 inches by 15 inches. Calligraphy drawing measures 9 inches by 12.5 inches. On the verso of the frame, it includes various Merton material including numerous clippings. Original artwork by Merton is exceptionally rare in the marketplace.
"Souls are like athletes, that need opponents worthy of them, if they are to be tried and extended and pushed to the full use of their powers, and rewarded according to their capacity": First Edition of The Authors Landmark Work The Seven Storey Mountain; signed by Thomas Merton
New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1948.
First edition, first-issue binding in white cloth and in the first-issue dust jacket with the photo on rear panel captioned: “Author is second from the left.” Signed by Thomas Merton on the half-title page. Fine in a very good dust jacket. Signed first editions are rare.
"The gospels tell us the sublimest mysteries of our faith": First Edition of Thomas Merton's The Living Bread
New York: Farrar, Straus & Cudahy, 1956.
First edition of Merton’s work on the sacrament of the Eucharist. Octavo, original cloth. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket.
New York: Farrar, Straus & Cudahy, 1957.
First edition of this classic meditation by Merton. Octavo, original cloth, pictorial endpapers. illustrated with photographs. Boldly signed by Thomas Merton on the title page. Fine in a near fine dust jacket with a touch of wear. Jacket photograph showing the cloister of the Cistercian Abbey of Hauterive, Fribourg, Switzerland by Benedikt Rast. A very nice example, uncommon signed.
Paris: Arthaud, 1955.
First edition of Merton’s work on monastic life and preparation for death. Octavo, original wrappers as issued, illustrated with photographs, with the rare original dust jacket laid in. In very good condition.
“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time": First Edition of Thomas Merton's No Man Is An Island
New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1955.
First edition of Merton’s reflections on the spiritual life. Octavo, original cloth. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket.
Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Company, 1950.
First edition of Merton’s interpretation of the life of St. Lutgarde, a thirteenth centiry saint and mystic who chose the way of La Trappe as her path to God. Octavo, original cloth. Fine in a near fine dust jacket with light shelfwear.
New York: William Morrow & Company, 1985.
First edition of Irving’s sixth novel. Octavo, original half cloth. Signed by the author on the title page, “Merry Christmas John Irving.” Some spotting to the page edges in a near fine dust jacket. Jacket design by Honi Werner.
"The adventure is over. Everything gets over, and nothing is ever enough. Except the part you carry with you:" Rare First Edition of From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler; Signed by E.L. Konigsburg
New York: Atheneum, 1967.
First edition of the author’s Newbery Award-winning novel. Octavo, original cloth. Signed by E.L. Konigsburg on the title page. Fine in a fine dust jacket. Rare in this condition and signed.
“Only God knows how much I love you”: First American Edition of the Love In The Time Of Cholera; Signed by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1988.
First American edition of Garcia Marquez’s work, which ranks as one of the great novels of the last half of the twentieth century. Octavo, original half cloth. Signed by Gabriel Garcia Marquez on the half-title page. Fine in a fine dust jacket. Jacket design by Carol Devine Carson and Chip Kidd. Addionally signed by Chip Kidd on the jacket rear flap. Translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Rare and desirable signed by Garcia Marquez.
"All over the ship, all through the convoy there was a knowledge that in a few hours some of them were going to be dead": First Edition of The 50th Anniversary Edition of The Naked and the Dead; Signed by Norman Mailer
New York: Henry Holt, 2005.
First edition of the 50th Anniversary edition of the author’s classic novel. Thick octavo, original boards. Fine in a fine dust jacket. Inscribed by the author who has transcibed the first line of this title as follows, “All over the ship, all through the convoy there was a knowledge that in a few hours some of them were going to be dead.”