When reading works in translation, doubts about their authenticity and faithfulness always stem. There are always “good” translations, and “bad” translations. Defining good and bad though, is difficult. What is more important; conveying the original author’s intent, sentiment and emotions, or transcribing as faithfully as possible and risking thematic loss. When the original work is older, issues with the age also arise. A translation of Beowulf from the 1800’s will more than likely be syntactically different than one from the late 1900’s.
Originally, I planned on researching how English translations of The Library of Babel differ with age, while also exploring how translators and readers alike assign the term Modernist to the story, even though the Modernist movement did not stretch to Argentina. As my research progressed, I realized the 35 year range between translations was not large enough to explore this concept. ~~~~~~ The translations of The Library of Babel by Kerrigan, Irby, and Hurley are similarly faithful (or unfaithful) to the original version by Borges, because they all contain interchangeable syntax, sentence structure, and sentiment