Western Buddhist Review

Volume 5

On Wed, 25 July, 2012 - 18:28
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dhabhaya's picture

Hello,Dhivan. Having had some difficulty getting to know my way around the Buddhist Centre site, I’ve only just stumbled on this Westeren Buddhist Review section. I’ve been reading the Chapter of Eights recently so found your review of Fronsdal’s book interesting. It sounds like a version of the text more than a strict translation, though from what you write the author would probably disagree with that. With ‘version’ I have in mind, for instance,  Don Paterson’s version of Rilke’s Sonnets to Orpheus. Anyway. Having read your review I might well buy the Fonsdal book. 

I presume that Volumes 1 to 4 of the WBR don’t appear here because they’re pre-digital?

With best wishes


Dhivan Thomas Jones's picture

Hello Abhaya, glad you found the WBR section of the site. I’m not sure Fronsdal intended his translation of the Chapter of the Eights to be a ‘version’ – he intended it to be a ‘translation’. Hence the problem with it. But his version is more readable than Norman’s. 

Vols 1–4 of WBR – I haven’t been able to get hold of any digital files. If you have any, please send them!

dhabhaya's picture

Thanks,  Dhivan. As is Saddhatissa’s (i.e.  More readable than Norman’s), but I think Saddhatissa says his is a ‘version’.

No, I’m afraid I haven’t got any digital files.


Dhivan Thomas Jones's picture

Thanks Abhaya.

Yes, Saddhatissa’s is deliberately a ‘version’ – he avoids the many difficulties of rendering ancient Pali verses by finding neat English equivalents – ’With no harmful side-effects’! As Norman comments, he tries to capture the ‘spirit’ of the Sutta-nipāta. But this is less effective I think with the Chapter of the Eights, where a certain precision and detail in translating the ancient context of debate is needed.