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The Hudson Book

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  • Michael Grondin
    Thursday afternoon, I received my copy of Gary Hudson s book _Secret Things_ from Amazon. Shortly after looking it over, I sent him an email requesting that it
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 26, 2007
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      Thursday afternoon, I received my copy of Gary Hudson's
      book _Secret Things_ from Amazon. Shortly after looking
      it over, I sent him an email requesting that it be immediately
      withdrawn from distribution. He has agreed to do that.

      As to the book itself (which may become a collector's item,
      since there's not going to be many copies!), it's a hardcover,
      of course, and has a professional look to it - other than my
      interlinear (see below). It's basically comprised of one
      chapter per saying. In each chapter (most of which are
      two pages long), the interlinear is given first, then Lambdin's
      translation, then a brief interpretation by Hudson. Most of
      the interpretations are about a half-dozen lines or less, so
      there wouldn't be much to the book without my and
      Lambdin's stuff.

      On the back cover is a small picture of Gary, along with a
      blurb identical to what is/was on Amazon. There's no notices
      from other authors given, though there is praise for another
      of Hudson's books on the inside flaps from Timothy Freke,
      Richard Smoley, and Saniel Bonder.

      The acknowledgements page consists of the following:

      "I would like to thank Mike Grondin for allowing me to
      include his Coptic-English interlinear translation. The
      Coptic script has a wonderful beauty which splendidly
      reflects the sacred knowledge of a mystery school
      long dead. Grondin's excellent line-by-line translation
      reveals the difficulty in producing an exact rendering
      of the true meaning of the Gospel. For further study
      please visit Mike's web site (see websites). I would
      also like to thank the Gnostic Society from which I
      obtained the Thomas O. Lambdin translation as well
      as the epigraph quote from _The Book of Thomas
      the Contender_."

      As is obvious from what he says above, and from the
      lack of any permission notice on the copyright page,
      Hudson did not have permission to use Lambdin's
      translation. He evidently just copied it off the internet.
      (The Gnostic Society would not have the right to give
      such permission, even if they had it themselves.)
      I suspect, then, that it might have been more the lack
      of permission for the use of Lambdin's work than
      mine, that caused Hudson to accede to my request.

      As to the presentation of my interlinear, I find it
      embarassing, for two reasons: first, if I had wanted
      it to be published, I would have made numerous
      changes to the English part of it which have occurred
      to me since I first composed it. Secondly, the form
      of it in the book is _exactly_ as it appears in my pdf
      file - and I've mentioned here before that I've so far
      been unable to get the alignment right in the pdf file.
      So the right margins aren't aligned, and the English
      often fails to be centered under the corresponding
      Coptic word, as it should. Gary and/or the publisher
      should at least have fixed that.

      The title of the book ("The Secret Things") has an
      interesting story behind it: it comes from _my_
      translation of the title of the Apocryphon of John!
      In fact, on the cover of the book, the word APOKRYFON
      appears immediately under the title. The way this is
      tied together is this: the first page of my pdf file
      (which is intended as a page-by-page presentation)
      shows the entire contents of page 32 of Codex II -
      including the last 6 lines and the title of ApJohn.
      This has confused some folks, and maybe I should
      take that part out, but in any case, Gary used this
      (again, an exact replica of the pdf) as an introduction
      - in fact, in the TOC, he calls it "John's Introduction"!

      Now the thing is, my translation of the title of ApJohn
      isn't the standard one. To my mind, the 'N' just before
      APOKRYFON makes it plural (which is what an 'N'
      before a noun normally does), but others think that
      the 'N' is functioning in a different way there. (Not to
      drop names, but I had a brief discussion about this
      with John Turner at the 2002 SBL. I don't recall his
      explanation now, but I do recall being dissatisfied
      with it. I suspect that this might be a case where
      translators can't accept a certain translation simply
      because they think that it can't mean that, even if
      the translation is grammatically sound.)

      As to Gary's interpretations, I only scanned them
      briefly, but long enough to determine that I didn't
      agree with them. But then I thought "Should that
      really be an important factor? Don't publishers
      normally grant permissions pretty much irrespective
      of how the material's going to be used, or what
      other material might appear with it?" In any case,
      the controlling factor for me wasn't so much being
      embarassed by association with Gary's interpretations
      (I didn't read them that closely) as being embarassed
      by deficiencies in form and content of the interlinear.

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