― Moti Bahat, Saturday, 16 October 2004 15:09 (eighteen years ago) link
― kensanway, Saturday, 16 October 2004 23:18 (eighteen years ago) link
― equinox, Monday, 18 October 2004 17:00 (eighteen years ago) link
― Moti Bahat, Monday, 18 October 2004 19:27 (eighteen years ago) link
PS: I think Borges must be very difficult to translate, it's hard enough just to read. Everything counts in large amounts.
― PJ Miller (PJ Miller), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 08:59 (eighteen years ago) link
― lovebug starski (lovebug starski), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 09:22 (eighteen years ago) link
― Michael White (Hereward), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 14:22 (eighteen years ago) link
― snotty moore, Thursday, 18 November 2004 11:54 (eighteen years ago) link
Borges also found Spanish limiting. There is a (rather surreal) interview with Borges in Paul Theroux's The Old Patagonian Express where Borges expands on the deficiences (as he seems them) of Latin based languages. I don't think he tried to write in Argentine slang too much as he found it a little coarse.
My favourite Borges quote is this: "Two bald men fighting over a comb"
Referring to the Malvinas war.
― MikeyG (MikeyG), Thursday, 18 November 2004 12:42 (eighteen years ago) link
― PJ Miller (PJ Miller), Thursday, 18 November 2004 14:11 (eighteen years ago) link
― benndeis, Friday, 10 June 2005 20:52 (seventeen years ago) link
― k/l (Ken L), Friday, 10 June 2005 21:30 (seventeen years ago) link
― Josh (Josh), Sunday, 28 August 2005 08:12 (seventeen years ago) link
(paranoid I know, but the Borges estate...I've heard stories I tell you)
― Banana Nutrament (ghostface), Monday, 29 August 2005 00:22 (seventeen years ago) link
― Forest Pines (ForestPines), Monday, 29 August 2005 06:53 (seventeen years ago) link
― tom west (thomp), Saturday, 20 May 2006 23:11 (sixteen years ago) link
― tom west (thomp), Saturday, 20 May 2006 23:14 (sixteen years ago) link
"I now arrive at the most difficult point in my story. This story (it is well the reader know it by now) has no other plot than that dialogue which took place half a century ago. I shall not try to reproduce the words, which are now irrecoverable. I prefer to summarise with veracity the many things Ireneo told me. The indirect style is remote and weak; I know I am sacrificing the efficacy of my narrative; my readers should imagine for themselves the hesitant periods which overwhelmed me that night."
(tho partly i like this bcz it's a lot like stuff in the rhetoric of fiction which i read the other week: both of these being on the Barthelme list.)
― tom west (thomp), Saturday, 20 May 2006 23:17 (sixteen years ago) link
― Jeff LeVine (Jeff LeVine), Wednesday, 16 August 2006 18:38 (sixteen years ago) link
Short question: does anyone have an edition of the Irby translation of 'The Library of Babel' in which the line ...there are always several hundred thousand imperfect facsimilies: works which differ only in a letter or a comma (about three quarters into the story) has facsimilies spelled facsimiles?
Long explanation: I'm participating in a project to make posters and books inspired by the story. My starting point was to compare different editions/translations. I came across two Dutch editions that had a wonderful meta-discrepancy in the 'imperfect facsimilies' line quoted above, differing only in an apostrophe; facsimiles/facsimile's.Now, this I turned into a nice poster, but ideally I'd prefer an English version. All the English versions of the story I've been able to find online (such as http://jubal.westnet.com/hyperdiscordia/library_of_babel.html) spell 'facsimiles', while the 1979/2000 Penguin copies of Labyrinths that I've checked spell 'facsimilies'. I'm hoping that this is not just an interweb typo and that there really is such a printed version.If someone has the Di Giovanni translation, I'd be very interested in his rendering of this line as well, as I haven't been able to find him in Dutch libraries.
Please let me know if you have any info, or if you're curious about the project.
― Orange (Orange), Thursday, 2 November 2006 19:36 (sixteen years ago) link
"Everything and Nothing" sends chills down my spine every time. I totally understand why people get deeply obsessed with Borges. I don't think any other writer moves me so deeply with so few words. After I first read "Library of Babylon," I had the darkest and most vivid nightmare of my life.
― Dale, dale, dale (Abbbottt), Thursday, 3 May 2012 02:26 (ten years ago) link
Everything and Nothing
― Dale, dale, dale (Abbbottt), Thursday, 3 May 2012 02:27 (ten years ago) link
The star attraction of the #Borges Foundation Musuem in BA has to be the oringial manuscript for The Circular Ruins (The crossed out titled is 'The Temple of Fire'). Precise miniscule cursive annoted with a key of astrological/alchemical-like symbols. And with illustrations. pic.twitter.com/AHvlUuwU4r— Paul Prudence (@MrPrudence) February 15, 2018
― mookieproof, Friday, 16 February 2018 16:04 (four years ago) link
I loved The Aleph and Other Stories, 1933-1969 (also has backstories by JLB), and every other and Di G. translation I've come across, although the Estate apparently doesn't agree, and yes you have to dig on Amazon for them, but I found these, in a doc from three years ago, haven't had time recently to check again
from wikipediasome found only by ISBN on Amazon, but has most I checked Norman Thomas Di Giovanni trans and/or collabsThe Book of Imaginary Beings (1969)Doctor Brodie’s Report (1972)Selected Poems 1923-1967 (1972)Borges on Writing (1973)In Praise of Darkness (1974)The Congress (1974)The Aleph and Other Stories 1933-1969 (Dutton, 1978. ISBN 0-525-47539-7)Chronicles of Bustos Domecq (Written with Adolfo Bioy-Casares) (Dutton, 1979. 0-525-47548-6)Six Problems for don Isidro Parodi (1981)Evaristo Carriego (1984)A Universal History of Infamy (Penguin Books, 1985?. ISBN 978-0-14-008539-6)The Book of Sand (Penguin Books, 1989?. ISBN 978-0-14-018025-1)see also http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/borges_jorge_luis
― dow, Saturday, 17 February 2018 02:37 (four years ago) link
I recall reading something about finding his definitive, personally approved english translator, then Penguin decided to get a new translation for money reasons. Could paying for a new translation really be cheaper than one that already existed?
― Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 17 February 2018 15:28 (four years ago) link
penmanship🐦[The star attraction of the #Borges🕸 Foundation Musuem in BA has to be the oringial manuscript for The Circular Ruins (The crossed out titled is ’The Temple of Fire’). Precise miniscule cursive annoted with a key of astrological/alchemical-like symbols. And with illustrations. pic.twitter.com/AHvlUuwU4r🕸— Paul Prudence (@MrPrudence) February 15, 2018🕸]🐦
― Prometheus Freed's Rock and Roll Pâté (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 17 February 2018 16:42 (four years ago) link
xp Not only definitive and personally approved, but in at least some cases done in collaboration with Borges. They're essentially keeping Borges's own work out of print.
― jmm, Saturday, 17 February 2018 17:15 (four years ago) link
Yes, at least in the case of Di G., I got the impression that ones presented as collaborations, and the others as well, were considered by the Estate to be essentially or too often exploitative?
― dow, Saturday, 17 February 2018 23:13 (four years ago) link
― Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 18 February 2018 01:55 (four years ago) link
"The Borges Papers" tells Di Giovanni's side of the story. ("In Memory of Borges" gives more more detail about working with B., among other good pieces on here.) http://www.digiovanni.co.uk/borges.htm
― dow, Sunday, 18 February 2018 02:50 (four years ago) link
then Penguin decided to get a new translation for money reasons
I don't think it was Penguin, I think it was the estate. Not that Penguin is above bullshit moves.
― Mince Pramthwart (James Morrison), Sunday, 18 February 2018 05:23 (four years ago) link
30+ years back two professors of mine were working on translations of the poems, which are incredible and into which they put a decade or so of work with the knowledge of the estate and poss penguin idk. when the rubber hit the road, new translators were commissioned (some of whom didn't actually speak Spanish iirc but who were doing the sort of "translation" that's a kind of "I write a poem based on a transliteration" thing that's so fuckin gross). my professors' renditions of 40 or so of the poems circulate privately & are quite good but yah much chicanery involved on the estate side.
― she carries a torch. two torches, actually (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Sunday, 18 February 2018 09:47 (four years ago) link
...onlly 20+ years back I should say, with some relief, that 30 was looking pretty intense
― she carries a torch. two torches, actually (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Sunday, 18 February 2018 09:48 (four years ago) link
still awake, i dug around a little - here's a letter from one of my professors, Dick Barnes, to Variaciones Borges, airing out his grievances with the estate and with, mainly, Viking (later Viking/Penguin I think). as I now work in books I do find some notes here a little odd - for example I personally would not undertake a lengthy work of translation unless and until I was under contract, because you never know where you stand until you're under contract. but the case for publication of the translations seems strong to me both on the merits of the work & the testimony of Merwin, Wilbur, et al; I treasure my copy of the small selection Bob gave me some years back.
anyway, an interesting read. Dick Barnes died in May of 2000.
― she carries a torch. two torches, actually (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Sunday, 18 February 2018 10:51 (four years ago) link
Thanks Dow and Chachi.
― Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 18 February 2018 13:40 (four years ago) link
Remarkable document, thanks! Those verses---and so Merwin, Wilbur, Hollander withdrew permissions for their translations in protest, woo. Yeah, I've done extended writing on spec even when I was way too dependent on contract income, but sometimes that's---what happens.
― dow, Sunday, 18 February 2018 17:36 (four years ago) link
way too dependent on *freelance* contract income, that is (def not rec).
― dow, Sunday, 18 February 2018 17:38 (four years ago) link
Finally just now read A Universal History of Infamy (Dutton PB 1979, trans. by Di G.): each entry is just a few pages, and some may have just a few words that strike ancient notes of dread, doom, awe, blind memory, as our chatty tour guide takes us down the buried corridor, past the niche---so easy to just keep turning pages, 'til I find myself maxed out on infamy for the day or night, however flat some of the delivery (Di G. makes sure we feel the key details through sandals, also the overall distance covered in each little tromp). Nothing but surfaces, the author assures us in two intros, the self-amusement of a young man "who was unhappy," and we start with sociopaths carving their way through American wildernesses of infamy and other wilderness, but always with a few engaging quirks in the see-and-raise audacity of the lonely, latter several accounts of seekers going forth and down, often somewhat more obediently than the Americans--in abjection, and/or with a secret purpose, to a lowest point, where the worm can turn: lots of vengence in here.Then again, there's the theologian who just keeps writing, leaving out the role of charity in salvation: he doesn't know he's dead, and the angels come around, present him with opportunities to change his mind, so he can get into or nearer heaven, or not the bad place, but even when he senses what is missing, and includes charity, his words soon disappear, because he doesn't really mean it, and he can't change his nature, nor can the angels, and his punishment, his fate, is cause and effect, nature beyond nature, the system---oops spoiler, but I left out some powerful imagery, and the experience that you can only get from reading the original.(Not all of these are equally effective, and a couple of bonus tracks are only that, but overall effect---!)
― dow, Wednesday, 20 April 2022 17:33 (seven months ago) link
*Later* several accounts, I meant (faves are in the Middle East)
― dow, Wednesday, 20 April 2022 17:36 (seven months ago) link
I’ve got the Hurley translation in the collected edition which I bought in 1999 and finally read… today?
So I loved “Forking Paths” but, having read this thread, am I doing a disservice reading this translation — is there another translator that’s conclusively better?
Would be great to hear anyone’s recommended stories too
― Chuck_Tatum, Saturday, 12 November 2022 23:01 (two weeks ago) link
I haven't read much Hurley, but all the other translations I've come across seemed pretty good--Alfred says the original Spanish text is tight, clean, so I guess hard to mess up, pretty much---but for nuanced precision my fave is Norman Thomas Di Giovanni, as mentioned upthread (good discussions on here). xpost Universal History of Infamy is the latest read from my JLB/NDG stash. Several translations mention a bar of sulphur in a desk drawer; Di G. presents it as "a candle."
― dow, Monday, 14 November 2022 05:55 (one week ago) link
"a sulphur candle," that is---sorry!
― dow, Monday, 14 November 2022 17:13 (one week ago) link