Monday, August 31, 2009

"God Speaks" released in 1958?

Meher Baba & Charles Purdom, London 1932
Charles Purdom was an economist, drama critic, author, and a close early follower of Meher Baba, having met him at Devonshire in England in 1931. He was also his first major biographer, writing "The Perfect Master: The Early Life of Meher Baba" (1937), and "The God Man" (1964). In addition he wrote one of the earliest versions of the discourses of Meher Baba, "God to Man and Man to God: The Discourses of Meher Baba" (1955).

Purdom's main livelihood was as the editor of a popular British magazine called "Everyman." Everyman featured articles by many renowned authors of the day including Ivor Brown, Arthur Machen, G. K. Chesterton, A. E. Coppard, and Bertrand Russell.

Meher Baba signing flyleaves
for "God Speaks" in March 1955.
When Meher Baba was completing his book "God Speaks" in 1954, he asked Purdom if he would edit it. Purdom replied that to undertake such a massive enterprise would require three years. Baba did not like this timeline and so turned to the American Sufis Ivy Duce and Don Stevens. They were eager to do it and promised to do the job immediately. Thus "God Speaks" was released in 1955 as Baba wanted.

Other books that came out that year included Nikos Kazantzakis' Greek edition of "The Last Temptation of Christ", "The Guinness Book of Records" (1st ed), C. S. Lewis' "The Magician's Nephew" and J.R.R. Tolkien's "Return of the King".

To learn more about 1955 in literature go here.

1 comment:

  1. It's always been a thrill to know that I was in vitro when the three-and-a-half weeks with Meher Baba events happened and also to have been born the same year that "God Speaks" was published. Thanks Chris for this interesting background on the birth of the book.