Krishnamurti in Russia: A Publications Story

By Pedro Lopez Marino

Pedro with Misha and Luda Abramov

For the second year in a row, the Krishnamurti Foundations attended the Moscow International Book Fair. Last year my colleague Derek Dodds from the KFA went, and this time it was my turn. Attendance to fairs is essential to get to know, network with, and discuss publishing possibilities with local publishers. After our first trip in 2012, two contracts were signed with one publisher (Ganga), for the books Choiceless Awareness and a combined edition of The Future of Humanity and The Ending of Time.

Until now, only ten of Krishnamurti’s books have been officially published in Russian, the majority of them in the 1990’s by a small company called Rezum Mir Krishnamurti. This publisher was set up exclusively with the goal of publishing books by Krishnamurti. They produced beautiful hardcover editions of books like Commentaries on Living, The Flight of the Eagle and Krishnamurti's Journal. During my stay in Moscow I met twice with the founder of Rezum, Vladimir Abgarian. He is a very nice gentleman with a serious interest in helping facilitate the availability of books in Russia. He will help us to get in touch with the translators he worked with.

Misha and Luda Abramov in the Booth

My impression is that we have good possibilities of making Krishnamurti's work more widely available in Russia. I met with about a dozen publishers and they all expressed various degrees of interest in producing editions of books. The important thing now is to follow up on all the pre-agreements that we made, and hopefully have contracts signed soon. Some publishers are particularly interested in the old translations (this saves them money and time), and some want to exclusively publish books that have not been made available before. One publisher also expressed an interest in printing one of the biographies.

Pedro with certificate of participation

A big concern of publishers in Russia has to do with piracy. Many feel that the risks associated with large print runs is not worth the effort, and prefer to do small editions due to the fear of them being quickly made available online for free. I expressed to them the commitment of the Foundations to tackle illegal piracy as effectively as possible, but in the end there is only so much we can do on this issue, which impacts the entire publishing world. Let's hope that these fears do not blind our potential publishers to the importance of making Krishnamurti's teachings available to the public.

We will most likely visit Moscow again next year. If we are lucky enough, by then we will already have seen a few more books published in the Russian language.