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From: m.driussi@genie.geis.com
Subject: Re: (urth) BookImaginaryBeings
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 98 01:47:00 GMT

[Posted from URTH, a mailing list about Gene Wolfe's New Sun and other works]

Reply:  Item #8579609 from URTH@LISTS.BEST.COM@INET01#

Pedro Jorge,

I have never read TBOIB in Spanish (that is to say, ELDLSI, "El libro
de los seres imaginarios"), but I have seen incredible differences in
a few English language editions.  I don't know which English language
edition would be considered the best--I only know first hand how much
some of them differ.  (Borges was fluent in English, at least
conversationally, if I remember correctly?  Wolfe wrote a poem and an
essay talking about how frustrated he felt for Borges who was visiting
the US and had to deal with Americans practicing their high school
Spanish upon him when he [Borges] was speaking to them in English.)

For example, my 1987 edition (Penguin paperback "Revised, enlarged and
translated by Norman Thomas di Giovanni in collaboration with the
author (1969)"; reprinted with revisions 1974; reprinted 1980, 1984,
1987) has some charm, it also has some hideous typos that seem to have
come from primitive optical scanning output which was never proof read
by human eyes.

Like this case, from the entry under "The Monster Acheron":

"!n [sic] the tenth book of the _Odyssey_ . . . "

It is difficult for me to imagine a copy editor who would mistake "!"
for "I" . . .

Some editions gloss the ancient authors in modern English; others
maintain (or fabricate?) an ancient patina, like this gem regarding
the Crocotta:

"Pliny writes (VIII, 21) that the Crocotta is an animal `ingendred
betwixt a dog and a Wolfe [sic]'"

Well, no--Pliny was writing in Latin, wasn't he?  So this citation,
this gem, would seem to be from a medieval English translation.
From Latin to medieval English to modern Spanish, then back to
medieval English again?!

Then again, all this textual variation seems so very "Borgesian" in


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