Abominable Borges’ Translations

In Alberto Manguel’s Royal Society of Literature lecture, he comments that:

The English speaking reader has been most unfortunate. Borges cannot be read, in my opinion, in English. There is no valid translation of Borges in English today. There is one exception, which I will come to in a minute, but all sort of abominations have been practised on the work of Borges.

Manguel criticises publishers’ decisions to divide Borges’ work into separate collections of poetry, non-fiction and fiction. Borges’ main intention, Manguel says, was to destroy the barriers of genre.

3 thoughts on “Abominable Borges’ Translations

  1. >Call me lazy, but I don't wish to listen to the whole lecture. Is it possible to hear which translation he finds best?

  2. >There is a new translation coming later in the year that Manguel has hopes for. Call me lazy, but much as I enjoyed the lecture I am not listening through it again.

  3. But Borges raised walls between the genres: he wrote poetry books with just poems, essay books with just essays, short-story books with just short-stories. What is Manguel on about?

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