CORRECTING THE BACK COVER OF "THINK ON THESE THINGS" BY J. KRISHNAMURTI --Reza Ganjavi's correspondence with HarperCollins
BY REZA GANJAVI
Think on these things is available from online and physical book shops. A free version is available on http://www.jiddu-krishnamurti.net/en/think-on-these-things/ but since this free version it's not licensed, consider making a donation to the publisher or better yet buy the authentic version, e.g. http://www.amazon.com/Think-These-Things-Jiddu-Krishnamurti/dp/0060916095/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1331478165&sr=1-1
or from http://www.krishnamurtibookstore.com/product-p/9780060916091.htm
UPDATE: A discussion I had with a friend on related topic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tGqyFoHNOM
UPDATE: 20 SEP 2006
Looking at the back cover of a Think on These Things it now says: "Lucid and penetrating observations on the world around us and our place in it from a spiritual teacher of rare originality" (instead of "of Hindu Tradition" like it used to say).
UPDATE: 29FEB2000 - AT BOTTOM
Thank you very must for forwarding the correspondence between you and Harper regarding the offending jacket of THINK ON THESE THINGS. We appreciate your initiative in this matter.
I will take over the issue and be in touch directly with x at Harper on this specific matter and several others having to do with their books.
Direct public action works!
Dear A and M:
As you know the back cover of "Think On These Things" presents K in a very
distorted way and KFA has been trying for a long time to get it changed. So
far the publisher has not been cooperating. I discussed the issue with you
(M) recently. Although the publisher has legal obligations to have the editorial
remarks reviewed by KFA prior to every reprint, they have not done so
despite KFA's correspondence and going as far as threatening (though
probably not intending) legal action. Last we heard from them on this issue was 2.5
years ago. Why? We can think of a number of possibilities:
1) None of the editors are interested in K ?
2) HarperCollins is too big and bureaucratic ?
3) This has been going on for 35 years - the status queue is too strong ?
4) Communication problems ?
Legal action is quite expensive and who wants to arm-wrestle with such a big
Knowing that a friendly approach through the right channels could go a long
way, I took it upon myself - as a member of general public – to contact
HarperCollins, voice my concern, and inquire into a solution. I found the
editor in charge of this book, and he agreed that they WILL make the changes and are
currently unaware of any change requests having been proposed (not
surprising given their bureaucracy). By the way, my impression from the
contact with 4 different HarperCollins people was that they have a good
level of respect for Krishnamurti.
I will discuss the rest in a separate mail as I am cc’ing this to a few
others who might be interested in this – at least those who sometimes
share his books with others. And anyway, it’s intriguing to see what
facilitation can do. I’m sure more facilitators and less law-suites would
make this a better world….
I am a friend of the J. Krishnamurti, and a friend of his foundations -
although I am not an official representative of either. There is real
injustice being done to him by the comments which are printed on the back
cover of his best-selling book Think On These Things - comments which are
utterly against his whole teaching. I can point out the details later if you
wish. KFA tells me that 2.5 years ago HarperCollins was notified of the
problem and HP told KFA that the revisions will take effect as of the next
print (which we have not yet seen). Apparently 6 months ago there was
another correspondence informing you of the contract which allows KFA to
review and revise such promotional text, and a follow-up, but nothing has
Their last contact there was Mr. Mark Chimsky who's apparently left the
company as did his boss Diane (I gathered this from speaking to one of your
Maybe you could do something for me please:
1) Please tell me who's the best person to contact to inquire about this
2) If you are the one, then could you please tell me if you know what I am
talking about - and if so, any idea when changes will take effect, and if
you need additional material/input from KFA, please tell me - I will pass it
3) I think the legal aspect and KFA's rights are not the most important thing
here - I think this issue needs to be brought to light and resolved in a
spirit of friendship - for you it's probably just an administrative matter -
but for those interested in K's work, and who share his work with others -
it is quite important. And even more important than that it's the Integrity of
his work which we need to be careful about.
Many thanks and Friendly Regards
[M & A]
The last guy KFA was in contact with was in San Francisco and quit 1.5 years
ago (so did his boss), and this book is published out of New York. They are
currently awaiting input from “us”.
If I may point out, please let's be careful with the new wording - we have
not been all that careful with our wordings on a couple of other books
(which I’ve pointed out previously). One might say, who care, these are just
words. But you know well what a role editorial comments can play in forming
perceptions, specially in this age of discarding-at-the-speed-of-light.
<SNIP>(offered more help if they need it).
This issue keeps coming back to my mind as unresolved. Did you get my
message a while back about who to contact to talk about the inaccuracies on
back cover of TOTT? You didn't respond - maybe you didn't get the message -
or you didn't know the answer - which is fine - if I know you don't know
they I'll look elsewhere :-) could you let me know either way.......
& Affectionate regards
Yes, I did get your message about the language on the back cover of THINK ON
THESE THINGS. We routinely object to such inaccurate characterizations of JK
where we can but there is no compulsion on the part of the publisher or
publicist to change the wording. They use language that they feel will sell.
We keep pointing out also that the contract requires them to submit the
covers to the copyright holders in advance and yet they never, ever do. Such
is the world of publishing.
>Dear Reza Ganjavi:
> I think that THINK ON THESE THINGS is published by HarperCollins in
>NY, not Harper San Francisco. An editor who may be responsible for the book
> I don't know anything about what your concerns you may have about
>the author description on the back cover. I am also not sure if the book is
>currently in print.
Would you kindly comment on the following:
>Dear Mr Ganjavi,
>Do by all means tell us what corrections you want and we will be happy to
>make them. Mr Chimsky was not in our NY department and this is he first
>I've heard of any corrections.
Sure, Reza, I will let you know when they comply.
UPDATE: 29FEB2000: (KFA said we sent letter to NY & SF and waiting for reply - (same as 3 years ago!))
Dear M/A - please see reply below from Harper's. I wonder what the root of the problem is?
To: 'Reza Ganjavi'
Date: Tuesday, February 29, 2000 9:48 PM
Subject: RE: Think On These Things
>Dear Mr Ganjavi,
>I have received no instructions at all - and am waiting for them.
>From: Reza Ganjavi
>Sent: Tuesday, February 29, 2000 3:14 PM
>Subject: Think On These Things
>Dear Mr. x
>I refer to your kind letter of several months ago.
>I would like to followup on this Krishnamurti's book - with regards to the
>changes on the back
>a) Have you received the proper instruction you were expecting from KFA?
>b) Do you have any idea when the changes may go in effect.
>Please don't perceive this email as a pressure - just a friendly follow-up.
>Many Thanks & Kind Regards,
Many thanks. Krishnamurti almost dissolved his foundations! Now I know why! I'll followup with them.
Dear Mr. V:
To close the loop on this trivial Think on These Things issue, in case you never hear from KFA, my only objection to the back cover is the reference to Krishnamurti as a "Spiritual teacher of the Hindu tradition" printed in bold in the first line. While he was born in India, I think it is unfair to call him of the Hindu tradition. If you like I can give you reasons why. To give you one example, unlike the hindu tradition which would immediately categorize him as a guru he rejected his own authority - in his ealier days he gave up vast amounts of money and property when he broke away from the Theosophical tradition.
Anyway, I feel I have done my part in conveying the message.
Thanks & Kind Regards