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/ Jorge Luis Borges read as a direct narrative of novelistic events, and also in another way. The heterogenous census of the authors whom I con-. IN “FUNES, T he Memorious,” Borges embarks upon an examination of the nature of .. 1 Jorge Luis Borges, Ficciones (New York: Grove Press, ), p. In , the great Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges (–) published Funes the Memorious. It is the fictional story of Ireneo Funes.

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With members from six committees gathered to reach a decision, a tie transpired between Borges and Beckett, as the French, Spanish and Italian members pushed for Borges, and the American, British runes German members insisted instead on Beckett. He embarked on a series of lectures in the United States and then on into Europe.

Yates and James E. It may be wondered why Borges did not himself translate his works into English. More, some of borgrs earliest literary endeavours were in the realm of translation.

Towards the end of his time in Europe, he completed translations of German expressionist poetry. At the end of that decade, he did in fact turn his attention towards the English translations of his own texts. In practise, this meant starting with El libro de los seres imaginariospublished in Spanish the previous year. As Borges and Di Giovanni became close, the two began collaborating on the translations.

English Translations of Jorge Luis Borges’ ‘Funes the Memorious’

Selected Poems was completed first, in February The translation of El libro de los seres imaginarios was completed in May, and published by E. Dutton, as The Book of Imaginary Beingstowards the end of the year. By earlyhowever, Borges had grown tired of translating and weary of the pressures of working to tight deadlines, and he curtailed his relationship with Di Giovanni. Di Giovanni would continue to work on translations of Borges for E. Dutton throughout the s. Yet he would never obtain the rights to translate and publish any of the stories from Ficciones.


Penguin had acquired the rights to publish Labyrinths in the United Kingdom in It continues to publish that book today, as part of the Penguin Classics imprint; while New Directions continues to publish Labyrinths in the United States.

InPenguin bought E. From Fray Bentos, living in Buenos Aires, and already possessing an acute sensibility, he suffers a horse-riding accident as a youth which leaves him hopelessly paralysed.

English Translations of ‘Funes the Memorious’ by Borges

Unable to walk, confined to his home, he finds his sensibility and his memory have become absolute. In Labyrinthsthe story was translated by James E. My favourite passage from the story, in the Irby translation, reads as follows:. He had not written it down, since anything he thought of once would never be lost to him.

His first stimulus was, I think, his discomfort at the fact that the famous thirty-three gauchos of Uruguayan history should require two signs and two words, in place of a single word and a single sign. He then applied this absurd principle to the other numbers. In place of five hundred, he would say nine. Each word had a particular sign, a kind of mark; the last in the series were very complicated…I tried to explain to him that his rhapsody of incoherent terms was precisely the opposite of a system of numbers.

Funes did not understand me or refused to understand me.

Funes the Memorious – MindReadings

Hurley explains his rationale in a note to the text: He had not written it down, since anything he thought, even once, remained ineradicably with him. His original motivation, I think, was his irritation that the thirty-three Uruguayan patriots should require two figures and three words rather than a single figure, a single word.

He then applied this mad principle to the other numers. Funes either could not or would not understand me. Irby is the first that I read, and it remains my favourite. It possesses a rhythm and a humour which, in my opinion, other English translations of the story do not match. The translations by Irby and Hurley of the passage above may be closely compared.


Their differing constructions of the second line of the passage suggest differently the mind and the lhis of Funes. This sentence marks the turn of the paragraph.

Finally, while the penultimate sentence is amusing no matter how it is rendered, both the setup and the final selection of words appear stronger in Irby. Kerrigan translates the above passage:. He told me that toward he had devised a new system of enumeration and that in a very few days he had gone beyond twenty-four thousand. He had not written it down, for what he once meditated would not be erased.

Later he applied his extravagant memoriois to the other numbers. In lieu of five hundred, he would say nine. Each word had a particular sign, a species of mark; the last were very complicated…I attempted to jorrge that this rhapsody of unconnected terms was precisely the contrary of a system of enumeration.

I said that to say three hundred and sixty-five was to say three hundreds, six tens, memoriuos units: Funes did not understand me, or did not wish to understand me. The edition of Labyrinthsedited and with translations by Donald A. Irby, published by New Directions. Thanks for this — this is profoundly interesting information.

The apparent reference to the Uruguayan satirical magazine is most interesting of all, because it suggests memprious potential source for Borges.

Your email address will not be horges. My favourite passage from the story, in the Irby translation, reads as follows: Kerrigan translates the above passage: Tags from the story. You may also like.

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