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Silvina Ocampo


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Contemporary and collaborator with Borges and her husband, Adolfo Bioy Casares, Silvina Ocampo stands among the greats of Argentine literature. Her poems, virtually unknown in the US, are now available in this original, newly translated edition of the writer's careening, lysergic visions of South America--visions to rival the likes of Bolano and Marquez.

About the Author

Silvina Ocampo (1903-1993) was an Argentine poet, fiction writer, translator, and one-time playwright. Born into an elite Buenos Aires family, she at first studied art in Paris under Fernand Leger and surrealist painter Giorgio de Chirico before marrying fellow Buenos Aires author Adolfo Bioy Casares. Ocampo published several volumes of short stories and poetry, as well as collaborative anthologies with Bioy Casares and close friend Jorge Luis Borges. Thus Were Their Faces, a collection of Ocampo's stories, will be available as an NYRB Classic in Spring 2015. Jason Weiss is a translator, editor, and author of Steve Lacy: Conversations and Back in No Time: The Brion Gysin Reader. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.


It is Ocampo's position as a poet which exalts her prose... Of all the words that could define her, the most accurate is, I think, ingenious." -- Jorge Luis Borges Like William Blake, Ocampo's first voice was that of a visual artist; in her writing she retains the will to unveil the immaterial so that we might at least look at it if not touch it. -- Helen Oyeyemi Like her friend Julio Cortazar, [Ocampo] wrote with fascinated horror of Argentinian petty bourgeois society, whose banality and kitsch settings she used in a masterly way to depict strange, surreal atmospheres sometimes verging on the supernatural. She could reproduce with devastating accuracy the intonations and the peculiar idiom of the Buenos Aires middle classes. Yet her irony was always so subtle and restrained, it could produce effects of unexpected illumination on the life of her times. The Independent I don't know of another writer who better captures the magic inside everyday rituals, the forbidden or hidden face that our mirrors don't show us. -- Italo Calvino Silvina Ocampo is, together with Borges and Garcia Marquez, the leading writer in Spanish. -- Jorge Amado Few writers have an eye for the small horrors of everyday life; fewer still see the everyday marvelous. Other than Silvina Ocampo, I cannot think of a single writer who, at any time or in any language, has chronicled both with such wise and elegant humour. -- Alberto Manguel

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