Invisible Work
241 pages

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241 pages
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It is well known that Jorge Luis Borges was a translator, but this has been considered a curious minor aspect of his literary achievement. Few have been aware of the number of texts he translated, the importance he attached to this activity, or the extent to which the translated works inform his own stories and poems.

Between the age of ten, when he translated Oscar Wilde, and the end of his life, when he prepared a Spanish version of the Prose Edda , Borges transformed the work of Poe, Kafka, Hesse, Kipling, Melville, Gide, Faulkner, Whitman, Woolf, Chesterton, and many others. In a multitude of essays, lectures, and interviews Borges analyzed the versions of others and developed an engaging view about translation. He held that a translation can improve an original, that contradictory renderings of the same work can be equally valid, and that an original can be unfaithful to a translation.

Borges's bold habits as translator and his views on translation had a decisive impact on his creative process. Translation is also a recurrent motif in Borges's stories. In "The Immortal," for example, a character who has lived for many centuries regains knowledge of poems he had authored, and almost forgotten, by way of modern translations. Many of Borges's fictions include actual or imagined translations, and some of his most important characters are translators. In "Pierre Menard, author of the Quixote," Borges's character is a respected Symbolist poet, but also a translator, and the narrator insists that Menard's masterpiece-his "invisible work"-adds unsuspected layers of meaning to Cervantes's Don Quixote. George Steiner cites this short story as "the most acute, most concentrated commentary anyone has offered on the business of translation."

In an age where many discussions of translation revolve around the dichotomy faithful/unfaithful, this book will surprise and delight even Borges's closest readers and critics.



Publié par
Date de parution 01 mai 2002
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780826591562
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,1000€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Invisible Work Borgesand Translation
Efraín Kristal
Invisible Work
Invisible Work Borges and Translation
VA N D E R B ILTU N IV E R S IT YP R E S S Nashville
©2002Vanderbilt University Press All rights reserved First Edition2002
This book is printed on acid-free paper. Manufactured in the United States of America
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Kristal, Efraín,1959-Invisible work : Borges and translation / Efraín Kristal.—1st ed. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN0-8265-1407-3(cloth : alk. paper) ISBN0-8265-1408-1(pbk. : alk. paper) 1. Borges, Jorge Luis,1899—Criticism and interpretation.2. Borges, Jorge Luis,1899—Views on translating and interpreting.3. Translating and interpreting.4. Borges, Jorge Luis,1899—Transla-tions—History and criticism. I. Title. PQ7797.B635Z771552002 868'.6209—dc21 2002002607
To Christopher Maurer, one of the happy few
Acknowledgments Introduction
Borges on Translation The Translatable and Untranslatable On the Translation of His Own Works The Arnold-Newman Discussion19 On theArabian Nights25 Borges’s Doctrine of Translation30
3 11
Borges as Translator German Expressionism41 Whitman and the Translation of Poetry46 Poe60 Reyes and Chesterton67 Translating Names and Titles70 Borges’s Arabian Stories71 Kafka, the Fragment, and the Dream74 TheProse Edda79 Borges’s Method As Translator86
Translation in the Creative Process “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius”89 “The Immortal”98 “Death and the Compass”103 “Emma Zunz”111 “Garden of Forking Paths”113 “The Circular Ruins”116 “The Writing of the God”122
ix xi
“The Lottery in Babylon”124 Original Work as Translation130 Toward a Poetics of Borges’s Oeuvre
Conclusion Afterword: Borges and Philosophy Notes Bibliography Index
135 141 147 191 205
I first presented my ideas on Borges and translation in a conference held at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, organized by Gui-llermo Guicci in1996. I continued discussing various aspects of my ongoing research in lectures and conferences in Peru, Australia, Germany, and the United States, as well as in graduate seminars at UCLA, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Göttingen dur-ing my tenure as Mercator Visiting Research Professor. In Göttingen I profited from conversations with Professors Manfred Engelbert and Armin Paul Frank. For five years during my research I received annual grants from UCLA’s Faculty Senate with which I enlisted the assistance of sev-eral graduate students to gather materials and to prepare aspects of the manuscript for publication: Kelly Austin, Nataly Tcherepashenets, Zaia Alexander, Philip Walsh, Kirsten Mcleary, and Susan Bausch. I would like to express my gratitude to several individuals for their support during this project and for their valuable advice and counsel: Herbert Morris, Charles Backus, Randal Johnson, Dietrich Briesemeister, Karsten Garscha, Alexander Coleman, Roy Boland, Roberto Alifano, Dominic Thomas, Kathleen Komar, Franco Betti, Kryztof Urban, Cathy Jrade, Marcelo Abadi, Erick Felinto de Oli-veira, Jorge Wanderley, Carmela Zanelli, Susanne Grosse, José Luiz Passos, Jonathan Post, H. A. Kelly, Suzanne Jill Levine, and Saúl and Gladis Yurkievich. I also would like to offer my gratitude to the wonderful staff at Vanderbilt University Press and to Bard Young for his superb edi-torial work.
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