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Dallas on the Theosophy Company's edition of THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE

Oct 23, 1998 04:42 PM
by Daniel H Caldwell

My comments are at the very end of this email.  I first
reproduce Dallas' comments to my last email.

Daniel Caldwell

W. Dallas TenBroeck wrote:

> Oct 22 1998
>         RE:  Source of the Theosophy Company edition of
>                         THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE
> In 1893 Mr. W. Q. Judge published in New York a reprint of this
> book.  I have also seen a reprint of this dated 1899.
> When he did this he made some changes as compared to the London
> printed original editions of 1889 and 1893 (DONE IN RESET TYPE
> AND IN A LARGER FORMAT) of that book.
> The Theosophy Company when it reprinted the VOICE in the 1920s
> followed the edition that Mr. Judge had issued in 1893.  It is
> different from the original 1889 edition in many ways. And
> although I have not verified Dr. Stokes (of the O.E.Library
> Critic) claim that there are over 600 changes, it may be fair to
> assume that is correct.
> I had no time this morning to thoroughly proof-read these two
> books in comparison with the T Co. edition.  What little checking
> that I did, using the main references of differences that Dan has
> so kindly provided, showed that Mr. Judge had made these in his
> edition.  Dan's comments insofar as they are accurate (as I have
> not checked all of them) stand.
> Remains the matter of meaning.  I deliberately asked this
> question of Dan so that he would consider it.  He has confined
> himself to the physical aspect alone.  Fair enough.
> I append some further comments/answers in the body of his letter
> reproduced below.

> As above stated the source of the changes has been located.
> Verbatim is verbatim.  Facsimile is facsimile.  As I said no
> argument there.
> Meaning is of course another issue.

> To be quite fair to readers in this matter it is my opinion that
> you could include, if you will, your opinion as to alterations of


> The best course is to state from the outset exactly what is being
> done.  That lets the reader decide on the matter of his reference
> and reliance.
> I deliberately introduced MEANING since for real students of the
> VOICE that is an important issue.
> Have you written to Theosophy Company on this matter ?

> [Dan wrote:] Why are there 600+ changes in this Theosophy Company's edition?
> [Dallas replies] I believe this is now made clear.
> No claim was made by T. Co. regarding their issuance of the VOICE
> as to its being either verbatim or facsimile.  I agree that it is
> unfortunate that the source was not mentioned.
> I am sorry it has taken so long for me to discover the source of
> the changes made.W. Dallas TenBroeck wrote:
> Oct 23rd 1998


Daniel Caldwell replies:

Thanks, Dallas, for the latest information on the Theosophy Company
edition of the VOICE.

There is little to comment on at this stage.  You have *admitted and
confirmed* that there are indeed changes and "corrections" in the
Theosophy Company's edition of the VOICE when *compared* to HPB's
original 1889 edition.

Hence the Theosophy Company's edition of the VOICE does *not* meet the
standards that *you yourself espoused only a month ago on theos-talk*.
At that time you wrote:

> > I prefer a facsimile edition - no question of authenticity.
> > Comments and changes can be put in an ADDENDUM for students to
> > consult.
> >
> > Verbatim editions are acceptable, if truly and accurately
> > VERBATIM - no changes or emendations or interpolations.  Any
> > such can be handled through an ADDENDUM.

I would suggest that in the future you use and recommend either
the TUP edition or the TPH Quest 1992 edition of the VOICE.

MOST of the changes in the TC edition (whether by an annoymous editor or
by WQ Judge) are totally unnecessary.  Why change Blavatsky's original
text when there is really no need to do so? See *some* of the specific
examples I gave in a previous email.  And these changes in the TC
edition are CONTRARY to the principles enunciated by the TC publishers
in prefaces to their own editions of ISIS and SD.

If one believes there is an "error" or "mistake" in the VOICE, then
indicate it in an addendum as *you yourself originally suggested*.

No, I have not written The Theosophy Company, but Dallas, since you are
there at the ULT (LA) several times probably every week, please feel
free to pass along my observations.  *And in light of your own standard
of last month*, I would hope that you yourself would URGE your ULT
associates (those who are *in charge* of The Theosophy Company) to stop
selling an altered version with 663 changes.  Urge them to publish a
"perfect facsimile" edition of the original 1889 VOICE.

I also hope that in the future you will be less critical and more
understanding of Boris de Zirkoff's editing of HPB's "Collected
Writings."  If he has not changed the meaning of HPB's text, then that
should meet you "new" standard, right?

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