Thursday, 14 June 2007

Translating Borges

It has often been said that Borges's fictions have never been translated into English well. I certainly thought Andrew Hurley's attempts are ordinary, and I'd like to think my translation of Borges Y Yo is better, but this ridiculously good anecdote found in a review of Borges's Collected Fictions tops the lot:
On what was to be our last night in Paris, Borges told me that, a few days earlier, he had attended a staging of Macbeth and that, in spite of the terrible performance, he had left the theatre 'shattered by tragic passion'. 'How curious,' he said, 'that Shakespeare's genius can even overcome the efforts of a bad actor.' Borges's genius will overcome Hurley's version, as it has so many others, and English-speaking readers, while waiting for the inspired translator of Borges, may have to resign themselves to the not impossible task of learning Spanish.

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