Re: Daniel's Silent Editing
Jun 10, 2006 10:36 AM
Thanks. That's it.
In spite of your general warning, the reader can never know what is "abridged" and what is not "abridged" in what he reads.
This is silent editing.
Carlos Cardoso Aveline
Data:Sat, 10 Jun 2006 17:31:58 -0000
Assunto:Theos-World Silent Editing
> Carlos Aveline quotes Ernest Pelletier about my book
> THE ESOTERIC WORLD OF MADAME BLAVATSKY:
> However, there are negative aspects to this book
> that need mention. There has been much silent editing
> done which renders the contents of this book
> impractical to quote from. While eliminating certain
> `irrelevant' portions of the text may not necessarily
> affect context, it is important to know (and from
> what I understand, it is also a legal requirement ?
> at least in Canada ? to indicate) where changes have
> been made to the original text. Silent editing
> sets a precedent which eventually will erode the
> authenticity of the whole theosophical literature.
> Knowing this, one wonders why this respected historian
> who has promoted and defended HPB would be compelled
> to compromise the integrity and accuracy of historical
> theosophical records.
> Unfortunately, at least from this quotation, some may think
> that this "silent editing" has been done without me
> telling the reader.
> Yet in my preface (ix) to ESOTERIC WORLD, I write:
> The narratives have been transcribed from the original
> sources with spelling and punctuation modernized. For
> people's names, the spelling used in HPB's Collected
> Writings (vols. 1 and 15) has been adopted. Material not
> relevant to the immediate narrative has been silently
> deleted. The original texts, however, can be found from
> the bibliographical references. Explanatory notes added
> by the editor are enclosed within square brackets.
> As regards Pelletier's comment about scholars or authors
> who want to quote material. It is my opinion that scholars
> should go to the original source or at least go to an
> unabridged unedited reprint of an article or text.
> In my book I wanted to tell the story of HPB's life or at
> least some of the story and I wanted to give readers the opportunity
> to read some of the original stories, reminiscences by the actual
> people who knew her, etc. At the same time I edited the text so
> the flow of the story moved, etc.
> In the first edition of my book THE OCCULT WORLD OF MADAME
> BLAVATSKY, I used the three dots ... to indicate all omissions of
> text. Even before this first edition was published some of my
> coworkers who had read drafts of the manuscript complained about the
> dots. That the dots got in the way of the story. At that time I
> igored this advice about deleting the dots ... . When TPH Wheaton
> wanted to publish a second revised edition with additional text
> added, the dot ... problem was brought up again. The readability
> issue was discussed back and forth with the publisher and with some
> of my friends and coworkers, finally I decided that I would not use
> the dots ... for readability.
> Was that a mistake? I don't know. But I don't really think so.
> Again interested readers, scholars and authors who want to explore
> the subject more or who want to quote texts are encouraged to go to
> the original sources.
> My intent again was to give readers a "taste" of all the wonderful
> narratives telling about HPB's life. And I also tried to quote very
> rare and hard to find material. You will find in my book material
> that has never been reprinted since it was first published (in some
> cases more than 100 years ago).
> Some of this material (especially) the rare material has been
> published on my website unabridged and unedited.
> And one of my projects is to publish a book (currently projected
> at 600 pages) of original text about HPB .... unabridged and
> Of course, I 'm sure this explanation will not satisfy Mr. Aveline.
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