Sunday, February 15, 2004

Thomas Molnar on Existentialism

Let us note that already in The Seven Storey Mountain Merton spoke of the culture of our world as "rotten, spurious, empty... not worth the dirt in Harlem's gutters." The point here is not whether these violent denunciations are justified or not: it is, rather, that the American authors quoted, Jewish or Catholic, couch them in the language of Hegelian-Sartrian dialectics, and speak of guilt not in terms of personal responsibility, but, true to their masters in thinking, as if guilt were a collective burden,l borne by a class or a race before the judgement of History.

Existentialism and the American Intellectual, Intercollegiate Review, September 1965

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