16 December 2010

Borges y Boucher, Yo

In my latest Sandman Meditations column, I tackled the prologue of Season of Mists, and ended up spending a lot of time talking about Jorge Luis Borges and his first appearance in English: "The Garden of Forking Paths" in the August 1948 issue of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine:
The EQMM “Garden of Forking Paths” appeared in a translation by Anthony Boucher, which means that Boucher was not only a well-respected writer of mysteries and science fiction, not only an important and influential reviewer of mystery fiction, not only the man whose name is honored by the annual World Mystery Convention (Bouchercon) and its awards (the Anthonies), not only the man who co-founded The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, not only an important mentor to many writers, including Philip K. Dick — he was also the man who first brought Borges’s work to the United States. Later translations would become the standard ones (as far as I know, Boucher’s has rarely been reprinted), but Boucher was first.
For those who are curious, below the cut I've posted scans of the first three pages, which includes the introduction by, I assume, editor Frederic Dannay (one half of Ellery Queen), although it could be by another member of the magazine's staff. Interestingly, according to Jeffrey Alan Marks's Anthony Boucher: A Biobibliography, Dannay rejected Boucher's translation of "Death and the Compass", which was later published by New Mexico Quarterly.

click on the images for a larger view: