One of the marks of a wise man is in his ability to not only recognize, but also take ownership of his errors, and the latter is my motivation in writing this post.
Those who have read my first book, Crossed Keys, will recall that in my introduction of the first of its two Grimoires, The Black Dragon, I spoke very critically of what was until then the only extant English translation of this work - that of Robert Blanchard and The International Guild of Occult Sciences.
While at the time I was wholly convinced that this criticism was fully justified, I have now come to understand that it was not. My poor valuation of the Guild's edition stemmed from the fact that after I'd been released from prison (where my own translation was actually completed) and finally had an opportunity to read Blanchard's version, I discovered many examples of what I assumed were significant errors in translation and in the seals as presented in his edition.
At the time, having also had an opportunity to speak with some who presented themselves as well informed on the subject of IGOS and Mr. Blanchard who had advised me that his efforts to assure an accurate translation were minimal and that IGOS took no measures such as proofreading the works, I foolishly assumed that this was the case and that the "errors" upon which I'd hit were just that. Thus my harsh critique of this version in my own.
Moving forward to the present day. A couple of weeks back I was contacted here on the blog by none other than Robert Blanchard. He had been unaware of my new translation, but had noticed my post not long ago mentioning my collection of IGOS' books. I subsequently emailed him and we've now exchanged replies several times, discussing future collaborations.
Upon discussing my former concerns with Robert, he has explained many things to me, one of which is the origins of the aforementioned rumors of his poor skill in translation. It is also now clear that the reason his version of Black Dragon bears such differences from my own is that he worked from a different manuscript, to which I was not privy and which I wasnt aware existed. Indeed the manuscript from which his edition was borne is appended to the hardcover version of IGOS' book in its entirety, which I would have know had I ever been able to locate one. (the copy I read was a spiral bound reprint which did not contain the French)
I must therefore apologize to Mr Blanchard for my assumption, and the criticism to which it led. I also encourage one and all to stay tuned, as Mr. Blanchard has also shared with me that The International Guild of Occult Sciences has been reborn, and that we can all expect big things, including his recent translations of hitherto unpublished Grimoires, in the very near future.