books by jorges
October 16, 2008 12:37 PM   Subscribe

Jorges Luis Borges - just read everything and nothing and I quite liked it. Recommend some of his poetry and short stories? Im looking to pick up a couple books so multiple suggestions would be great.

pretend that I can only read three of his books (collections, anthologies etc) and then i wont be allowed to read another word of his. which three would it be?

BONUS POINTS - links @ amazon.com or other online book vendor
SUPER BONUS POINTS - if they are giovanni translations

from what Ive read, bad translations of his have done a serious disservice to his work so good translations would be nice.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht to Society & Culture (17 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 




Honestly, I think the translation complaints are overblown. Collected Fictions is a great value, and any notion of it being "ruined" by the translations is a minority opinion. It just happens to be one of those things that the minority feels insanely passionate about. That doesn't make them right.
posted by nanojath at 12:56 PM on October 16, 2008


well, 'ruined' is a strong word, but I read some examples of Hurley's translations side by side with giovanni's and there is certainly some loss of nuance.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 1:01 PM on October 16, 2008


It looks like most of di Giovanni's translations are, controversially, out-of-print. Hurley's Collected Fictions has had mixed (but not universally poor) reviews: I've not read them myself, but his is likely the best one-stop shop for the stories currently in print.
posted by misteraitch at 1:13 PM on October 16, 2008


pretend that I can only read three of his books (collections, anthologies etc) and then i wont be allowed to read another word of his. which three would it be?

The three Penguin collections (Collected Fictions, Selected Non-Fictions, Selected Poetry) aren't the ideal translations, but they're totally essential (particularly the Fictions collection), and I at least found that the consistency of the translations in Fictions was really nice. You're going to have a tough time finding the di Giovanni translations, as misteraitch mentions.

If you had to read one book, read his Personal Anthology. The translations are classic and it's a terrific blend of fiction, essays, and poetry, selected and ordered (and translation-assisted-in) by Borges.

His Other Inquisitions is a fantastic set of essays, available from U Texas Press in an older translation.
posted by j.edwards at 1:49 PM on October 16, 2008


I recommend, as does j.edwards, the Personal Anthology. That's the best single volume of Borges in my opinion.
posted by jayder at 2:15 PM on October 16, 2008


Seconding Labyrinths, particularly "Tlon, Uqbar, Orbus Tertius", "The Garden of Forking Paths", "Death and the Compass" and the essay "Avatars of the Tortoise".

I was assigned Labyrinths for my philosophy in literature class that I took as an elective, and it was one of the few school books that I decided to keep.
posted by Verdandi at 2:36 PM on October 16, 2008


ok, ordered Collected Fictions, The Selected Non-Fictions, The Selected Poems, and Labyrinths, but have decided i will keep a weather eye out for the giovanni translations
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 3:16 PM on October 16, 2008


It looks like most of di Giovanni's translations are, controversially, out-of-print.

Luckily, though, they're easily found on the used market. Too late for Tryptophan-5ht, but anyone else who wants a copy of the wonderful bilingual edition of Selected Poems 1923 - 1967, Di Giovanni's collaborative translation project with Borges, there are usually a bunch available for under $10 including shipping at Bookfinder.com. I found a copy a few months ago at a local used book store for $2 and felt lucky for days. :)
posted by mediareport at 4:15 PM on October 16, 2008


Jorge, not Jorge.s
posted by signal at 6:44 PM on October 16, 2008


Dream Tigers!!!!!! MUST READ
posted by Packy_1962 at 8:24 PM on October 16, 2008


ok, ordered Collected Fictions, The Selected Non-Fictions, The Selected Poems, and Labyrinths,

Well, everything that's in Labyrinths is contained in Collected Fictions, although the translations are different. I might be inclined to say I preferred the translation in Labyrinths, but that could be just because I read it first.
posted by ludwig_van at 8:26 PM on October 16, 2008


ludwig_van, how could you not say "Dream Tigers"? You still have my copy jerk.
posted by Packy_1962 at 8:30 PM on October 16, 2008


Dreamtigers is also contained in Collected Fictions, although again the translation differs. I don't know where your copy is. In some timelines it has already been returned to you. In some you threw it on the fire. In others it was never written, and you and I are but ghosts, or the figments of Matt Haughey's imagination.
posted by ludwig_van at 8:34 PM on October 16, 2008


I really liked his Library of Babel, which is available online along with some cool visualizations.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:57 PM on October 16, 2008


Tlon... can be read right here; original and translation side by side.
posted by dzot at 6:27 AM on October 17, 2008


« Older I'm not paranoid, just curious.   |   Planning suggestions for taking an 8th grade... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.