AGURDJIEFF A READING GUIDE : In the same year James Moore’s Gurdjieff and Mansfield was published, and a decade

later Gurdjieff: The Anatomy of a Myth (1991), a full biographical scan of Gurdjieff’s life that has achieved the status as a definitive biography . Recollections of talks by Gurdjieff from notes of his pupils. By Olga DeHartmann Recollections of talks by Gurdjieff from notes of his pupils. By Olga DeHartmann. Walter Driscoll and the Gurdjieff Foundation of California Gurdjieff Bibliography. [city:] Garland Press, 1984 (out of print). The definitive compilation of the Gurdjieff literature up until its publication date. Each item is succinctly annotated. James Webb’s The Harmonious Circle (1980) provided the first systematic biographical account by a writer who hadn’t known Gurdjieff personally. In the same year James Moore’s Gurdjieff and Mansfield was published, and a decade later Gurdjieff: The Anatomy of a Myth (1991), a full biographical scan of Gurdjieff’s life that has achieved the status as a definitive biography. Though James Moore cautiously called Gurdjieff’s own account of his early life, 1866(?)–1912, “auto-mythology,” he and other writers on Gurdjieff’s life seem to have mythologized the whole of his life. “Mythologized” is, perhaps, an inadequate term. In fact, much written on Gurdjieff’s life after 1912 is pure invention, in some instances speculation paraded as fact. The unwary reader who would trust accounts is led into perpetuating error, and the catena of error from the 1960s to the present is almost impossible to detach from a putative “canonical” historical view. Agwan Dordjieff ames Webb, after reading the autobiography of Paul Dukes, The Unending Quest: Autobiographical Sketches (1950), suggested that Gurdjieff was actually Ushé Narzunoff, and speculated that he might have been teaching in Saint Petersburg in 1913 with the name “Prince Ozay.” James Moore, in his Gurdjieff: The Anatomy of a Myth (1991) refutes the Narzunoff identity but accepts the Ozay theory, which I refute in another essay. Information about Gurdjieff’s life from himself and other sources can be viewed in three chronological periods. The first, the principal time span of Meetings With Remarkable Men, covers the period from his birth—not dated by himself but extant official documents have both 1872 and 1877, and James Moore argues for 1866—until 1912 when he begins teaching in western Russia. The second period extends from 1912 until 1922 when he established his Institute in Fontainebleau-Avon. The third and final period ends with his death in the autumn of 1949.