(by the aria nuova team)
Satprem left manuscripts that are very important for all of us and for the future of the Earth. He called them Notebooks of an Apocalypse (Carnets d’une Apocalypse).
Before his departure, in 2007, seven volumes only were published, under his direct supervision. But the total number of Notebooks is 24...
The question is therefore to obtain a complete and meticulous publication of the remaining volumes.
In the 20th Century, literary modernity created and cherished the concept of “passer” of work: works reputed to be bold and transgressing — therefore uncompromising with social standards — of really innovative authors would need intermediaries, persons who act as advocates and whose mission is to obtain their recognition.
Yes, but the passer’s ambitions can be more questionable. The “passer” can delete, fiddle, transform. His reading and his pedagogy can betray the author. In short, the passer can be a cheat, or simply an impostor (see for example the article, written in French, on Antonin Artaud and the literary McCarthyism, in which one can see the serious danger of a possible — and not necessarily due to insincerity — betrayal of the manuscripts). Or, he can simply lack the skills needed to carry out such a task.
So, the legitimate question facing us is this: does the publication of Satprem’s Notebooks respect the original manuscripts? Up to which point?
There are at least 50 mistakes in the first volume — that is the 8th — published after Satprem’s departure. See the list attached.
We well know that too many errors (above 6 according to book-lovers’ custom) are the sure sign of a lack of care in the transcribing work. We know it all the more because we are engaged in a publishing work. Our publishing house, aria nuova edizioni, is publishing Sri Aurobindo’s complete poetical work in Italian, with parallel text.
We also know that by dint of “small arrangements” supposed to make the written work of an author more legible, one can twist the meaning of a narration. The transcription of manuscripts is a real profession with its own rules and regulations (that are, besides, evolving). That is why nowadays the work of transcription is a collective work so as to meet the numerous difficulties of transcribing a text that be true to the original. Unfortunately, Satprem’s Notebooks don’t seem to enjoy these optimal conditions for their transcription. Volume 8 is clearly substandard.
What then is our objective?
We are asking that Satprem’s work is preserved and promoted and that the Notebooks are published in full and faithfully. The question here is to prevent any misrepresentation (be it due to good or bad faith) to obtain real and undeniable warranty that the transcription is faithful. We know that such a task is impossible unless a copy of the manuscripts is made available. But, then, we should remain as vigilant as possible so the Notebooks of an Apocalypse could be published in a manner worthy of their Author.