Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Pierre Menard's Translations

For the Borges heads, here comes this interesting piece of trivia from George Steiner's After Babel:
The latter's masterpiece [Menard's], of course, was to consist 'of the ninth and thirty-eighth chapters of the first part of Don Quixote and a fragment of chapter twenty-two'. (How many readers of Borges have observed that Chapter IX turns on a translation from Arabic into Castilian, that there is a labyrinth in XXXVIII, and that chapter XXII contains a literalist equivocation, in the purest Kabbalistic vein, on the fact that the word no has the same number of letters as the word ?)

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