I haven't realize that this tread will have such a respond. Firstly there was a wonder why I posted it, but then it good quite a bit of attention.
Why I posted it? As I said, I find it interesting, and - I admit - I am quite sceptical or even against many commentaries. Sorry if my views hurt you.
Anyway, a bit of more records regarding Ven. Nanamoli's attitude towards VM. (All sources are from Path Press websites.)
Dr K. Heendeniya remembers:
Once Bhikkhu Soma asked Nanamoli: 'If you do not believe in the Visuddhimagga, why are you translating it?' I cannot remember the exact reply but as is usual self, Nanamoli sheepishly smiled!
And Bhante Nyanasuci assumes that
Ven. Ñānamoli had an early interest in Visuddhi Magga (as did Ven. Ñānavīra). The translation was more or less completed in 1953 which was only 3 year after his bhikkhu ordination. I also assume that he translated that also as an exercise in Pali. Anyway here is his reason in the Preface of the The Path of Purification:
Originally I made this translation for my own instruction because only published version was then no longer obtainable. So it was not done without any intention at all of publication; but rather it grew together out of notes made on some of the book's passages. By the end of 1953 it had been completed, more or less, and put aside. Early in the following year a suggestion to publish it was put to me, and I eventually agreed, though not without a good deal of hesitation.
And Ven. Ñānavīra's comment to Nanamoli who was his the best friend:
The comic element in the Netti has now, I think, given us all the laughs it was capable of; and we can now say, in a phrase of my schooldays, "Joke over". Perhaps needless to say, the charge of being comic is no more directed at you than is the charge (if I were to make such a charge in a general way: "Those who...") of being a champion, even quasi-crypto, of the Commentaries. I am quite well aware that you are quite well aware of the deficiencies (not to put the matter too strongly) both of the Netti and of the Commentaries, and that you are not deceived by them. (Upon occasion I give more credit to the Commentary than you do—notably in the Cittavisuddhi section of the Visuddhi Magga, and also, perhaps, in its analysis of the four mahābhūtāni. Apart from its usefulness as a dictionary, it also contains, however muddleheadedly, certain earlier interpretations that are of value.) What, then, is the origin of the suspicion, suspected by you, that I, and perhaps the Ven. Kheminda Thera too (though whether he would be so anti-commentarial were the Ven. Nyanaponika Thera not so pro-commentarial I don't know) may or may not entertain, of the propriety of your relations with the Commentary? Perhaps a remark of the Ven. Soma Thera's, that you once told me of, throws some light on the matter. It seems that, upon reading a disparaging passage in an early draft of your Visuddhi Magga Introduction ("an opinion expressed", apparently, "only as dispraise"), he exclaimed "But if that is your opinion of the Visuddhi Magga I can't think why you bother to translate it". It is true that this does not take into account the fact that you translated it in order to find out what it was about, and not at all in order to propagate it as the Eternal Truth (which you might have done had you been an admirer of the work); but even when this is taken into account there seems to remain a vague unaccounted-for residue, perhaps expressible as "But is it necessary, in order to find out what it is about, to translate it quite so thoroughly?" That, to other people, there is an air, a faint aura, of ambiguity about your relations with the Commentary, you will probably admit, since you seem to be aware of it yourself; but I, for one, should not attribute it to a secret admiration (though to what, exactly, it might be attributed is not altogether easy to say). Perhaps it is really, after all, nothing more mysterious than a slight self-indulgence in the pleasure of (18th century) scholarship. (I should certainly not suspect you, except to be perverse, of the seriousness of Scholarship in its present-day meaning—indeed, of the three of us, the Ven. Nyanaponika Thera, yourself, and myself, you are the least serious, though not, therefore, the most comic.) [EL. 100] 21.iv.1959
More corespondence can be found at Path Press webistes. I think it is included also in Seeking the Path http://www.pathpresspublications.com/en/page/books/detail/3/Seeking_the_Path
. (Check with them).
Forgive me for the disturbance caused.