Nurturing Life - The Essence of Chinese Medicine | Indiegogo
greboun's bookmarks 2014-09-07
This campaign is about academic freedom, about nurturing life, about the ethics of Chinese medicine and of publishing, and about promoting light and health and healing in harmony with nature in accordance with the wisdom from the ancient Chinese classics in true service to humanity and the universe. It is also about resisting and transforming what I see as a misguided desire for profit and control over access to this wisdom, which has impaired the production and transmission of knowledge in our field.
I love to translate classical Chinese. I am one of a handful of people in the world with the obscure skill to read, understand, and communicate classical Chinese medical literature into modern English. Except for rare circumstances, I don't get paid to produce such translations, especially book-length texts, which can take literally thousands of hours and years of research to complete. I do it because I believe in the importance of this work and because of the response I receive from practitioners who apply their insights in their medical practices and personal lives. I am an idealistic academic and a writer, and I just want to see my work out there, available to anybody who wants or needs it.
Last November, Happy Goat Productions with great pride and love published our first book, Venerating the Root I, a translation by myself of a 7th century text on pediatrics. Shortly thereafter, the publisher of three previous books of mine, Jonathan Schell and The Chinese Medicine Database, sued me out of the blue for $200,000 in damages, claiming ownership of this translation. In my eyes, this is a frivolous lawsuit because I never received any money from him for this work, I did not sign the contract he presented to me, and Mr. Schell told me clearly 1.5 years prior to my publication date that he was no longer interested in publishing the book.
For perspective, The Chinese Medicine Database, which published my translation of the writings on gynecology by the same 7th century author in 2008, is selling that book for $200 per copy, has no presence that I can discern in the international market, has not issued a revision even though I have made Mr. Schell aware of potentially fatal errors in the current edition, and is refusing to drop the price or create a cheaper paperback edition. As a result, sales are currently less than a copy a month. Mr. Schell has thereby put this book out of the reach of most interested practitioners, while at the same time prohibiting me from retranslating or republishing this material, thereby holding this important and potentially life-saving information hostage.