Publisher’s Note

This translation of Sébastien Faure’s classic essay, “12 Proofs of the Nonexistence of God” (also published under the title “Does God Exist?”) was first issued more than 60 years ago by the Kropotkin Library. That “Library” was, to the best of my knowledge, the work of Italian anarchist immigrants who had fled Mussolini’s Italy in the 1920s and 1930s; and the two translators of this pamphlet, Aurora Alleva and D.S. Menico, were members of that admirable group — a group which more than any other was responsible for keeping anarchism alive in the United States in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s.

That this translation exists at all is remarkable, given that the translators were native Italian speakers and were translating from one secondary language to another (French to English). The result is a comprehensible but far from fluid translation — and, unfortunately, still the only one available in English. (A good Spanish translation by Benjamin Cano Ruiz was published by Editores Mexicanos Unidos in 1979 in the collection, El pensamiento de Sébastian Faure.) But despite the flaws in this translation, Faure’s meaning is always clear, and this essay remains a very persuasive exposition of the atheist position.

— Chaz Bufe, May 28,1999