Notes on the 1992 Revision of The Tales

The Revision of The Tales

[An Excerpt from To Fathom The Gist, Vol 2 – The Arch Absurd]

The Rhythm of the Words

While there are no simple ways to identify what is or is not an effective rhythm for the reader, we are mindful of Louise March’s words:

[Gurdjieff]. . . considered a single word or the flow of a sentence so very important. . .

A clear observation we have of The Revision is that almost every sentence Gurdjieff wrote has been changed in some way. We found no examples where any change improved the rhythm of the text, although our opinion here is only subjective.

What we found exceedingly odd was that even in Chapter 48, From The Author the text of the lecture: THE VARIETY, ACCORDING TO LAW, OF THE MANIFESTATIONS OF HUMAN INDIVIDUALITY had been changed, and the words flow slightly differently. If this was, as the text states, taken from an earlier documented lecture, why change anything? In The Revision even the title of this lecture has been changed with the word “diversity” replacing the word “variety.”

Comparisons suggest that the revisers were unconcerned with the rhythm and flow of sentences—the overriding imperative seemed to be to leave nothing of Gurdjieff ’s original text unaltered. Why?

Since any opinion on the quality of any text can be regarded as subjective, we recommend readers make their own comparisons.