iv | MoAMG I - Preface

These Memoirs were begun early in 1977 in response to Professor
J.W. de Jong's questions about my life up to 1948, the date when I
first met him in Paris through Prof. DemiƩville. His queries
coincided with the almost miraculous emergence of a pleasant and
efficient secretary here in Sherborne. To her I first dictated the
account up to 1948. Then I stopped because I had my doubts about
the project. Encouraged by friends I continued, however, and by
July 22nd I had dictated a total of 100,000 words. Prof. de Jong of
Canberra in Australia, is therefore the 'you' who is addressed again
and again. He has been interested for a long time in the history of
Buddhist Scholarship, as shown by his 'A Brief History of Buddhist
Studies in Europe and Asia', Varanasi 1976.

After consultations with lawyers and friends the material was
then split into three parts. The first surveys my intellectual develop-
ment, including those factors which helped or hindered it. The
second fills in some of the details and gives me ample opportunity
to comment on many things. The third part contains everything
which has been deemed libellous, brutally frank, or politically
impermissible. By common consent Part III cannot be published in
my lifetime, and must wait for the 21st Century, if ever there
should be such a thing. Parts I and II have been nearly de-venomized.
They exhibit the cobra's shining scales and display her graceful and
vigorous movements. In Part III the fangs and venom glands will
be revealed.

Most of what I have said will interest close friends and
colleagues. To the general public much must appear pretty tedious.
What I have done so far is to tell my life story in a way which
satisfies me. In fact I have quite enjoyed telling these stories,
treating them as a kind of end-of-term report to the Almighty, or
an account of this incarnation for Yama, Judge of the Dead. When
it come(s) to the commercial exploitation of the typescript, it will be a
good thing to cut it down to 90,000 words.

I myself find it hard to see why anyone should take exception to
what I have said. Far from arguing with anyone, I merely record
honestly what has happened to me and what I have genuinely
thought at a given time. One may deplore that I am a product of my