Previously Unpublished Di Giovanni Translation

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This topic contains 17 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  elvaht1 1 month, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #3413 Reply

    Jonathan Basile

    I’ve written in the past about the legal battles Borges’ widow has carried out to prevent Norman Thomas Di Giovanni from publishing the translations of Borges’ work that he co-authored with Borges himself.

    Thanks to Dan Visel, who did the beautiful design, and the internet we’ve taken a small step toward rectifying that. You can now access the version of The Garden of Branching Paths translated by Di Giovanni here:

    As well as his translation of The Maker:

    Here’s a description:

    An author who frequently played with the borders of his own identity, Borges loved to create works in collaboration with others. One of his longtime companions in this literary game of exquisite corpse was Norman Thomas Di Giovanni, who translated this edition of El jardín de senderos que se bifurcan. They worked together on English editions of much of Borges’ fiction, poetry, and non-fiction, all of which was signed by both authors together as a collaborative effort. Borges loved translation, and brought a creative infidelity to the effort that embraced the inevitable transformations of the original and highlighted his own interests in the source text. His translations of his own work with Di Giovanni are no more faithful, and represent an important part of his literary output. Unfortunately, they were allowed to go out of print after Borges’ death, most likely because Borges’ widow María Kodama and Viking-Penguin could secure more royalties for themselves if they broke the 50/50 agreement Borges had established with Di Giovanni for all their shared projects. Di Giovanni has even been legally barred from making his translations available for free on his website. The present edition gathers his translations of Borges’ most important collection of fiction, including versions of “The Library of Babel” and “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius,” and other translations which have never appeared in print. All their published translations can be downloaded from

    #7007 Reply


    Is there any chance of this unfortunate situation changing after Kodama’s death?

    #7010 Reply

    Jonathan Basile

    Well, it will certainly be up to the next executor of the estate at that point what contracts to enter and what litigation to pursue. I doubt that we would see di Giovanni’s translations come back into print because I assume Viking would still have their contracts with Hurley. But of course 70 years from the date of Borges’ death in 1986 all of his writings will be in the public domain.

    In the meantime, I hope these translations can be shared online for interested readers.

    #7034 Reply


    Di Giovanni says in his preface to The Garden of Branching Paths (much better title, when you think about it, than The Garden of Forking Paths!) that “Two of this book’s English versions were written in direct collaboration with the author.” Oddly, he doesn’t say which ones. Do you happen to know?

    #7051 Reply

    Jonathan Basile

    All the translations that appear in the earlier book The Aleph and Other Stories 1933-1969 were co-authored with Borges – that includes “The Circular Ruins” and “The Approach to Al-Mu’tasim.”

    Don’t be fooled by the poorly translated Andrew Hurley book with a similar title! You can read all of Di Giovanni’s collaborative (with Borges) translations here:

    #7142 Reply


    Thank you for that information and for making all these translations available!

    #8285 Reply


    Hello, just wanted to say thanks for the share!

    #8382 Reply

    Mina Sands

    You can also download a complete e-book of the Giovanni translations here:

    #11448 Reply

    Jonathan Basile

    I added NTdG’s translation of The Maker – also designed by Dan Visel, and never before published!

    #12051 Reply

    Ross Presser

    Unfortunately the ebook linked to by Mina above is gone. “site has been disabled for violations of our Terms of Service”

    #14877 Reply


    I found this link, which I’m guessing is the same e-book:

    I’ve bought the Hurley translations for comparison. Based on the titles, I prefer the Di Giovanni/Borges efforts.

    #15208 Reply


    Thank you! Thank you so much for this!!!

    #16919 Reply

    JLB-NTdiG Fan

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you…

    #16920 Reply

    JLB-NTdiG Fan

    Does a complete translation of Artifices exist? or just Death and the Compass from The Aleph and Other Stories?

    #16950 Reply


    I think yes.

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