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VOICE OF THE SILENCE---The Theosophy Company edition

Sep 16, 1998 10:36 AM
by Graye/Caldwell

VOICE OF THE SILENCE---The Theosophy Company Edition
[Rough Draft]

Thanks to Dallas TenBroeck and Paul Bazzer for replying to my questions
concerning facsimiles and verbatim reprints of HPB's original editions. 
We have not heard from Tony Maddock on this matter.

I assume that Dallas, Paul and Tony would prefer/use/recommend either
facsimile and/or verbatim reprints of HPB's original editions of ISIS,

Unfortunately, I believe Dallas is mistaken when he writes:

"THEOSOPHY CO. has done a verbatim reprint of the 1889 edition [of The
Voice of the Silence.]"

In 1928, The Theosophy Company of LA issued the following edition of the

Author:        Blavatsky, H. P. (Helena Petrovna), 1831-1891
Title:         The voice of the silence. . . / translated and annotated
by H.P.B. 
Published:     Los Angeles : Theosophy Co., 1928.
Description:   iv, 110 p. : port. ; 15 cm.

And it appears that the Theosophy Company is STILL selling this edition.
I have not bought a copy of the Voice from the Theosophy Company in many
years.  But see the following information from the Barnes And Nobles
online bookstore concerning the edition they are currently selling from
the Theosophy Company:

Voice of the Silence 
Helena P. Blavatsky (Translator) 
Hardcover, 110pp. 
ISBN: 0938998064
Publisher: Theosophy Company 
Pub. Date: January 1928

This Theosophy Company edition is neither a facsimile nor a verbatim
reproduction of the original 1889 edition of HPB's VOICE.  The
pagination is also different from the original 1889 edition.

According to Dr. H.N. Stokes (OE LIBRARY CRITIC, July 1928), he found
upon "a most careful comparison, word by word, from beginning to end" of
this 1928 edition with "the original H.P.B. London edition of 1889" the

"There are 665 points of differences, of one sort of another, viz.

In the preface. . . . . . . . 34
In the text. . . . . . .  . .274
In the notes. . . . . . . . .357

These. . . consist of changes in punctuation, italics, quotation marks,
capitals, spelling of Sanskrit words, omission of the important
diacritical marks over the vowels, and others.  This averages one change
to every three or four lines."

In about 1985, I obtained a copy of the Voice issued by the Theosophy
Company.  I started comparing the original 1889 edition with this TC
copy.  I did not keep count of the changes made but I found literally
scores of changes in the TC edition when compared with the original. 
Also this TC edition I examined had changed the pagination of the
original.  Furthermore HPB's endnotes had been inserted in the main body
of the text as footnotes.

Nowhere in the TC edition that I examined did it state that it was a
verbatim reproduction of the original or that it was a facsimile edition
of the original 1889 edition.  Yet most ULT associates I have discussed
this with have all *assumed* that it was an accurate reproduction of the
original 1889 work.  This assumption is probably made because this same
publisher offers facsmile editions of the SD, ISIS and the KEY.  The
unstated reasoning of these students is probably that since TC offers
these reliable facsimiles, then the Voice must be ALSO a reliable
reproduction of the original.

In summary, based on the criteria previously agreed upon by Dallas, Paul
and Tony, this Theosophy Company edition does NOT meet those standards.
If G.R.S. Mead, Annie Besant and Boris de Zirkoff are to be criticized
for making numerous changes in various Blavatsky writings, then what
criticisms should be leveled at the officials at The Theosophy Company
(and U.L.T.?) for the 665 changes in their edition of the VOICE? 

An accurate verbatim reproduction of the Voice is available from
Theosophical University Press, Pasadena, CA.  There are three other
editions of the Voice in print which are superior (IMO) to the Theosophy
Company's edition.

Daniel Caldwell

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