Borges thought of all writing as translation, not in the strong sense that Octavio Paz employs of writing as a translation of experience, but in the sense of all writing as a stab in the dark at articulating meanings that always remain to some extent elusive. Rather than hoping for a common substratum that would provide the key to universal translation or evoking a “pure language” indistinguishable from the Word of God, Borges delighted in thinking of all writings as drafts in progress, imperfect instantiations never fully one with the significations toward which they gesture. In this view, texts are provocations to go in search of meaning…; when they become instantiated in a given set of words (and we may add, a given medium and performance in that medium), they necessarily miss some possibilities even as they realize others. Hence for Borges it is entirely possible for an original text to be unfaithful in its translation (in the sense of being inferior to its successor), for the translation may realize more fully possibilities that were only nascent in the original. Indeed, this view draws into question the very idea of an “original,” for temporal priority does not signify ontological priority when the original is regarded as simply one draft among many.

N. Katherine Hayles, My Mother Was a Computer: Digital Subjects and Literary Texts