I had another reason for seeking Him, for trying to espy His face, a professional one. God and literature are conflated in my mind. Why this is, I'm not sure. Perhaps because great books seem heavensent. Perhaps because I know that each nove is a puny but very valiant attempt at godlike behavior. Perhaps because there is no difference between the finest poetry and most transcendent mysticism. Perhaps because writers like Thomas Merton, who are able to enter the realm of the spirit and come away with fine, lucid prose. Perhaps because of more secular writers, like John Steinbeck, whose every passage, it seems to me, peals with religiousity and faith. It once occured to me that literature

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