The question “which translation should I read of Borges?” is a complicated one to answer, as Borges is primarily known for his short stories, which have been collected and translated in various forms over the years. Any given short story may appear in one collection or another, and many of these collections were translated by multiple translators working together.
Historically, Borges’s fame in the English-speaking world started with the 1962 publication of two different and separately-translated short story collections, Ficciones and Labyrinths, which collected overlapping but different sets of stories. Of these, I judge Ficciones to be the superior collection of translations (perhaps because I read it first).
Most of the other writings of Borges have also received a recent translation by Andrew Hurley in the Viking/Penguin-published collections Selected Non-Fictions, Selected Poems, and Collected Fictions, subsets of which have been re-published in other collections, such as The Aleph and Other Stories, The Book of Sand and Shakespeare’s Memory, and A Universal History of Iniquity. Penguin has also published Hurley’s translation of The Book of Imaginary Beings, which is not collected in any of the larger volumes of translations. A subset of the translations from Labyrinths have also been collected alongside a handful of essays in the New Directions-published Everything and Nothing.
Norman Thomas di Giovanni also produced a number of translations in collaboration with Borges himself, however, most of these are out-of-print.
|Ficciones||Labyrinths||E & N|
|Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius||✓||✓||✓|
|The Approach to Al-Mu’tasim||✓||✗||✗|
|Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote||✓||✓||✓|
|The Circular Ruins||✓||✓||✗|
|The Lottery in Babylon||✓||✓||✓|
|An Examination of the Work of Herbert Quain||✓||✗||✗|
|The Library of Babel||✓||✓||✗|
|The Garden of Forking Paths||✓||✓||✓|
|Funes the Memorious||✓||✓||✗|
|The Form of the Sword||✓||✓||✗|
|Theme of the Traitor and the Hero||✓||✓||✗|
|Death and the Compass||✓||✓||✓|
|The Secret Miracle||✓||✓||✗|
|Three Versions of Judas||✓||✓||✗|
|The Sect of the Phoenix||✓||✓||✗|
|Story of the Warrior and the Captive||✗||✓||✗|
|The House of Asterion||✗||✓||✗|
|The God’s Script||✗||✓||✗|
|The Wall and the Books||✗||✓||✓|
|Kafka and His Precursors||✗||✓||✓|
|Borges and I||✗||✓||✓|
|Everything and Nothing||✗||✓||✓|