Editions of Capital / Marx-Engels Online Library

zodiac zodiac at gold.interlog.com
Wed Dec 27 06:18:26 MST 1995

Heya Chris --

Thank you for the welcome back. I have read a bit of the material gushing 
through the list since having to drop out of active participation last 
Sept -- for work/time constraints.

> Necomers may not know how much work Ken has done as archivist of the Marx Engels
> Online Library to make the works available on internet.
> How about an update for the list Ken, about access etc?

Hits have grown steadily for the WWW site 
(http://csf.colorado.edu/psn/marx). Though I don't have numbers for those 
still using the more incomplete FTP and gopher versions, nor the various 
mirrors around the world, the Colorado HQ itself has received 22,237 
successful hits in December to this time of writing.

It's very pleasing.

However, I still need to complete a fuller transition to the WWW. I hope 
to have that time now in the coming months. Also, some people have lately 
been complaining of "permission denied" access errors I would like to 
track down.

> How is Capital going?

Slowly. You will find chapter 1 and Part VIII (Primitive accumulation of 
capital). I did part VIII. Someone else "called dibs" on Capital, and he 
has done a fine job. But I would be interested in speeding up the 

I am asking if people would like to help in proofreading some chapters 
from Capital, 1-3. Please, only volunteer if you are sure you can deliver 
50 hours of time.

Let me explain: Probably the greatest difficulty the ME Archive has had from
volunteers is a zealous tendency to minimize the labor involved in
transcribing works. Understandably, people just want to get out there and
"do" their favorite ME text. There have been probably five dozen people who
have graciously volunteered to help transcribe something. I would respond
with thanks, warning them to pick something small, like some of Marx's news
articles, to see if they have any affinity to the process. The person would
reply they want to transcribe the Grundrisse. 

I would sigh, they would crack open page 1, and two hours and one page 
later, they close the book and I never again hear from them -- probably 
because they feel they didn't live up to their word.

I want to prevent that situation from ever happening.

So... if you wish to get an intense education in Marx, and have the free 
time to sit and _studiously_ read a chapter, while comparing it with the 
same printed edition (Engels' original English edition), please contact 
me. I can produce the basic chapter, then pass it along to someone for a 
first read, who will then pass it along to a second proofreader for a 
more fine-tuned editing.

I would then put it in the Archive.

With maybe four such people, we could have the complete Capital 1 up by 
the end of January. Which edition of Capital? See below...

SIDE NOTE TO RALPH: Herr Dumain, I'd dearly love to start work on the 
German Ideology, and I know you have dedicated a great deal of your own 
time into studying that classic. Would you be interested in heading a 
proofreading team for GI?

> Do you want help from anybody?

See above. :)

> Secondly, could you comment on the posts from Tom and Jerry explaining the
> difficulties of comparing texts of Capital volume 1?
> I was dismayed by their message because it is difficult enough giving quotes
> by page reference because of different editions even within the English
> speaking world. It would seem preferable to give reference by volume, chapter and
> paragraph.

I would agree with your latter method. There's nothing more frustrating than
flipping around blindly with editions that don't match.  Of course, once we
have it online, you can simply word search for a key word of discussion --
or, barring that, immediately count paragraphs. 

> The intro to my London, 1970 Lawrence and Wishart  says:
> "This is the first volume of a new edition of the three volumes of Capital,
> published simultaneously in hardback and paperback.
> "The text is that of the English edition of 1887, edited by Frederick Engels,
> as corrected by the editors of the English edition published in 1965 by
> Progress Publishers, Moscow and Lawrence and Wishart, London. The
> changes made by Engels in the fourth (1890) German edition have been
> incorporated into the 1887 English text. These changes are indicated
> wherever they occur. The editors have also rechecked original
> sources and have made the necessary corrections in the author's
> footnotes...."

This is the text that is being used by the ME Archive -- not only because it
is more "authentic" (which is a subjective assertion I don't want to get
into) but because it's outside copyright (which I most definitely want to get
into wherever possible). 

I fear that someday someone somewhere will demand certain copyrighted 
translations will be removed -- ripping holes in the ME Archive.

Engels' translation is in the public domain, and the changes to that text 
to account for the 4th German edition changes, which you mention, have 
apparently never been copyrighted.


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