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August 23, 2011


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One tiny comment: Averroes wrote a commentary on Aristotle, but didn't actually translate him. Now, if you want a really fascinating translator, check out Jacob Anatoli, Averroes' translator into Hebrew.

Zaphod, what delight to see you here again! Regarding Averroes not translating Aristotle-- tell that to Borges! Have you read the story? You would love it.

Just a thought, but I think Borges when he says "translator of Aristotle" doesn't mean translator in the same way that you or I would mean it, but maybe something like "translator of concepts"... that is, in the commentaries Averroes attempted to "translate" classical concepts about comedy or tragedy into Arabic-- which had no such concepts/words

Yes, I've read the story, but I don't remember Borges saying that Averroes was translating Aristotle, just commenting on his work.

The story is wonderful, isn't it? Unfortunately my copy is back in Japan, but like I said, I think the use of "translator" here and in the wikipedia page at least is referring to this idea of "translating" foreign concepts. "Translating" the ancient conecpt of comedy into Arabic (Arabic language but also Arabic notions as informed by language). I will check when I can, though. In fact, I will email my man (now in Taiwan) Senor Borges himself. He always carried a copy with him in his backpack.

A certain gentleman friend from the most far-flung edges of the empire sent this messsage late last night:

Since you mention "Averroes' Search" I thought I might tell you something amusing about a translation of it, Andrew Hurley's. In a footnote he wonders why Borges would have Averroes and the others, all Muslims, discussing the Christian story of the Seven Sleepers of
Ephesus. Hurley did not know that the story of the Seven Sleepers is the subject of one of the chapters of the Koran. To this story of all stories he managed to add a further layer of misunderstanding. I for one am endlessly amused by it.

Great ziggurat. Where?

Aristotle translation: http://www.idiocentrism.com/aristotle.htm Dozens of guys and at least one lady.

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