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But, this kind of absurdity is one of the main themes of Beelzebub's Tales. Just as he once claimed that two hundred conscious men and women could prevent.
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However, there is no name, or names of such responsible ones on the published edition, with the exception of Madame de Salzmann who, being deceased, cannot, therefore, have initiated the actual publication of this revision. It is exact and precise. Nothing should be changed, nothing omitted. I am quite certain that there are many others who are shocked and outraged at the appearance of this book. We have read the dust jacket and enough of the text to realize that changes have been made to virtually every sentence in the Book, and the text has been shortened by more than a hundred pages.

For these reasons, we wish to share our questions and thoughts regarding this with you. We invite your response.

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The authentic edition has not been published in hard bound copy for several years and even the paperback editions have become increasingly difficult to obtain. In what way can you possibly see it as deficient? The publisher of the revised version has informed us that the revised edition was prepared from a revision of the original English text only.

What was being translated? Although Madame de Salzmann was a truly remarkable person, French was her mother tongue, and she was not as expert as Orage in the use of the English language. It is difficult for us to understand how one could expect the new team of revisers to be an improvement over the team of Gurdjieff, Orage, and the others chosen by Gurdjieff for this task.

As stated in the Book itself, the authentic original text was prepared …under the personal direction of the author, by a group of translators chosen by Gurdjieff and specially trained according to their defined individualities, in conformity with the text to be translated and in relation to the philological particularities of each language.


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He says: Some of you still criticize the faulty grammar and punctuation and ask why I do not do something about it…. Gurdjieff is constantly re-writing and revising. The surprising thing is that, in spite of the difficulties of translation the sense and style come through so well. It can be said that in English, this being a more flexible language than French, it is possible to play with words, so that the English translation will have a quality of its own.

Our intellectual life is based on chance associations which have become more or less fixed.

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Talks on Beelzebub's Tales

Only when these are broken up can we begin to think freely. Our associations are mechanical; a whole mood can be destroyed by the use of one word which has a different group of associations. Nott, pp. And so it seems to go throughout the text, from the chapter titles to the last sentence of the book, substituting the familiar for the challenging.

Authentic Version A.


  1. Talks Beelzebub's Tales, Used.
  2. Choices for the High School Graduate: A Survival Guide for the Information Age.
  3. Orage’s Commentary on Gurdjieff’s “Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson”: New York Talks 1926–1930.
  4. Revised Version R. We have experienced a broadening of our understanding, little by little, to encompass a knowing that is found in feeling as well as in thought. There were layers of meaning that people were touched by, but could not in any way formulate…Could one listen, as Orage advised, without giving way to constant verbal associations and unrelated imagery?

    This was all before the days of the computer, but his description of the conclusions of the formatory apparatus bears a close resemblance to computerized thought. Consider what Gurdjieff himself tells the reader in Chapter I:.

    A Protest Made In Sorrow on the Revision of Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson « eye of the cyclone

    Certainly Gurdjieff and Orage and the others who stewarded the Book to publication could have prepared a text much in the manner of this revision, had Gurdjieff so wished. How can anyone not agree with J. For knowledge to be rightly transmitted, and properly received, a special effort was required to read and inwardly digest.

    Gurdjieff held that knowledge, like all else on this planet, was material, was food and had to be properly ingested and absorbed.

    Description:

    Only someone familiar with his ideas, and prepared to devote a lot of time and hard study to the chapter could make anything of it. Gurdjieff has shown in his Meetings with Remarkable Men that he could tell stories in simple language, without confronting the reader with any linguistic problems. We also know that he spent no fewer than seven years in the writing of Beelzebub — as he himself says, sparing himself neither day nor night, constantly writing and rewriting. Therefore, we must assume that the writing of Beelzebub was in the form which he intended, and that the alterations were deliberate, in spite of making the ideas less accessible to the unprepared reader.

    It also produces a very different mood and emotional response in the reader, goodness knows! Orage It isn't a matter of how it can be done, but of understanding what it means and then wishing to hear the book that way.

    Remember how you listened to stories you heard when you were a child, so that you participated, your hair stood on end and your eyes shone or you wept? That is reading with all three centers, and Gurdjieff would hope the book reading could be of that order. They demonstrate a way of approaching and understanding a work that Orage considered to be literature of the highest kind. As the figures in Beelzebub are mythological and their language, parabolical, the book may not be easily comprehensible by the average reader or Fourth Way beginner.