Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Florovsky's 'Collected Works'

I remembered that there had been some discussion about the status of the 'Collected Works' of Fr Georges Florovsky, and not being sure how much was known by the others on the blog, I thought I'd share some references to it that I recently came across in SVS's biography of Fr Florovsky--Georges Florovsky: Russian Intellectual, Orthodox Churchman, edited by Andrew Blane.
'Nordland Press, in an ambitious undertaking, set out in the 1970s to publish Florovsky's collected works in English. He was pleased by the plan, and welcomed the first two volumes to reach print in 1972 and 1974. But disenchantment followed. He voiced strong displeasure with changes in the next two volumes, particularly volume three, saying they were not to his liking and he had not been consulted. In 1979, when the next volume was in prospect, he took the unusual step of insisting through a lawyer that he be sent a proposed contract as well as all aspects of the planned text not already posted for his personal checking and correcting. Until these conditions were met, publication could not go forward.'
There is also a note with further interesting information:
'The lawyer was Christopher S. Tarr of the firm Smith, Stratton, Wise and Heher, Princeton, New Jersey. Florovsky's side of the story ended with his death in August. Those who might now legally represent him were absorbed in settling his estate. Nordland Press continued to publish his works. The story is sad and dismal, that of a botched opportunity. Within a few years Nordland filed for bankruptcy to obtain relief from its creditors. Organized in Liechtenstein under another name, Buchervertriebsanstalt [sorry, didn't want to take the time over the umlaut], but controlled still by Richard S. Haugh [author of Photius and the Carolingians], production of Florovsky's works renewed. This press also would fold. The quality of its works continued to deteriorate. Volumes XIII and XIV, for example, are shoddy and misleading. But even parts of the earlier, better volumes, are erroneous. To illustrate with one of the unauthorized changes that I know, having multiplied, led Father Georges to turn to a lawyer: his Ingersoll Lecture at Harvard University on "The Resurrection of Life" was published in Volume III under the significantly different title "The 'Immortality' of the Soul".'


Blogger Andrew Middleton said...

Interesting...thanks Aaron! I can't recall what you said on the phone about the current status of the collection...do you know who the present copyright holder is? I wish one of the Orthodox seminaries would try to get hold of the copyright (perhaps they have already tried?)

10:29 AM EDT  
Blogger aaronandbrighid said...

Actually, that biography is the most recent information I have, but I do believe I remember Mark or Philip or someone having looked into it and said that it was still Richard Haugh.

5:03 PM EDT  

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