James Moore Website

 

BOOKS

 

Gurdjieff and Mansfield Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd, London (UK), 1980, 261pp, hc, illustrations, notes, references, select bibliography, index, ISBN-0-7100-0488-5.

 

Moore’s biographic study constitutes an exploration of the brief but significant contact at Fontainebleau between Gurdjieff and the terminally ill New Zealand short story writer Katherine Mansfield, sketching their relationship's historical, cultural, and spiritual context. It remains the only full-scale work directly challenging the canard of Gurdjieff's responsibility for her death. Critics of Moore’s apologetic nevertheless saluted his text’s stylistic verve, narrative thrust, and command of primary sources. The book’s core chapter ‘The Initiation of the Priestess’ was translated into French under the supervision of Henri Tracol and published in Question de No.50, Nov-Dec 1982. (It drew favourable comment in Aurores No.30, Feb 1983.)

 

 

Gurdjieff: the Anatomy of a Myth Element Books Ltd, Shaftesbury, Dorset (UK) 1991, 415pp, hc, illustrations, map, chronology, notes, references, select bibliography, index, ISBN 1-85230-114-7 (and, from the same publisher, two paperback editions entitled Gurdjieff: a biography: 1993, ISBN 1-85230-450-2; 1999, ISBN 1-86204-606-9).

 

Moore's major work and probable memorial, this sympathetic biography of Gurdjieff constitutes a benchmark against which future offerings are likely to be calibrated. Supporting the narrative is a unique 33-page Note Section illuminating, at a high level of scholarship, major aspects of Gurdjieff’s teaching and background. With this, his magnum opus, Moore earned from Professor Massimo Introvigne the accolade “Gurdjieff's only serious biographer”. International interest was aroused and publication ensued in German 1992, Italian 1993, Spanish 1996, French 1999 (a sensitive translation for Éditions du Seuil), and Japanese 2002. For the book’s rationale and intriguing human context see authorial interview with Patrick Patterson in Telos.

 

Gurdjieffian Confessions: a self remembered Gurdjieff Studies Ltd, Hove (UK), 2005, 304pp, hc, illustrations, embedded chronology, index, ISBN 0-9549470-0-2.

 

This long-meditated memoir, was crafted as an exercise in self-interrogation and as a tribute to Henriette Lannes. Non-academic in tone, it has been reviewed as a ‘good read’; the author’s Gurdjieffian engagement, among a rich cast of fellow-seekers, is platformed with humour, affection, and irony. The memoir’s Ur-text value to historians and sociologists is guaranteed by its London setting (an elusive piece in the jigsaw of the post-Gurdjieff diaspora) and by its unique three-chapter evocation of the concerted Gurdjieffian effort which underpinned Peter Brook’s film Meetings with Remarkable Men. Moore’s reluctance to progress the narrative beyond the point when he himself began to attract pupils has led to charges of imbalance and a call for a sequel. Thus Professor Introvigne regrets: “There are only five pages about 1980-2005, the period when Moore emerged as the finest Gurdjieff scholar in the world and was, in a way, rewarded by being thrown out of The Gurdjieff Society in 1994.” 

 

© 2006 James Moore

 

 

IntroductionGurdjieffian TrajectoryBooksSecondary Writings

Bibliography and EncyclopaedismOutreach: Academia and Media Tentative Appraisal Related Websites