I don't have a lot of time to dig into the mystery--which is what I have been calling the origin and authenticity of the story called, variously, "The Fauna of Mirrors," "Animals in the Mirror," and "Animales del Mirro" by Jorge Luis Borges...and maybe Margarita Guerrero. Less than an hour per week, maybe. Not much time, really.
So today I wanted to devote my few minutes to Norman Thomas di Giovanni. I found this. di Giovanni worked directly with Borges on translations of Borges's work into English. As things progressed, after Borges passed away, di Giovanni found himself being deprived of the results of that work. Publishers and Borges's widow had begun releasing newly translated versions of Borges's Spanish editions, without di Giovanni's contributions at all. He writes:
Behind my back, I was being ushered out of the
door (if such a mixed metaphor is permissable) and at the same time was
being airbrushed out of history, out of Borges's existence. All of my
volumes of his work - work to which he contributed and gave a unique
voice - were deliberately allowed to go out of print. No publisher, no
editor, no agent, no executor of any estate ever wrote to me to explain
any of this. New translations appeared. Viking-Penguin had bought up
E.P. Dutton, and unilaterally, without a single word to me, they
nullified my contracts, an act which experts in the law have told me was
illegal. So ruthless was Viking that they even commissioned a new
edition of Borges's poems, stealing from my edition, without permission,
without payment, a considerable body of my work.
This is all very depressing.
I learned all this when I was looking up di Giovanni with the hopes of contacting him about the mystery. He passed away in February of 2017.
Norman Thomas di Giovanni will be remembered by friends in Buenos
Aires for his wit and for his brash manner in all that he set out to do.
He must also be remembered for his brilliant literary training, his
high quality as a translator and his capacity to move from his
hard-knocks managerial style to his kindness as a friend to all of his
friends and for his often excessive generosity. Di Giovanni wanted to
help the whole world. He was a sponge for attention and affection from
all those he befriended or was close to at any one time.
However, Di Giovanni would probably want to be remembered simply as the best translator that Jorge Luis Borges ever had.