Friday, November 03, 2006

Monk Eastman, Purveyor of Iniquities

Borges derives this story from Gangs of New York by Herbert Asbury, the same book that provided some of the source material for the Martin Scorcese film. Borges even mentions the Dead Rabbit gang in passing, although the protagonist of this story, Monk Eastman, enters the history of New York long after the demise of the Dead Rabbits. Here is how Eastman is described:

He was a battered and monumental man. He had a short, bull neck, an unassailable chest, the long arms of a boxer, a broken nose; his face, though legended with scars, was less imposing than his body. [ . . . ] He might go shirtless or collarless, and often went without a coat, but he was never seen without a narrow-brimmed derby atop his enormous head.

I like way Hurley turns “legend” into a verb, but it makes me wonder how this was expressed in the original Spanish by Borges.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I like way Hurley turns “legend” into a verb, but it makes me wonder how this was expressed in the original Spanish by Borges."

Borges's way is just the same and, as you do, I appreciate the way he derives a verb
from a noun. the text in Spanish is
...///... la cara aunque historiada por ciacatrices...
legended is a precise and elegant translation for historiada

4:19 AM  

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