Ocampo, Silvina. Leopoldina's Dream. New York. 1988. Penguin Books. 0140100113. Translated from the Spanish by Daniel Balderston. 205 pages. paperback. Series design: David Wyman. Cover design: Rene Demers. Cover painting: Vesper Express, L’honor Fini, VIS-ART C 1988.  




Silvina Ocampo is one of the most disturbing and fascinating writers a reader can hope to encounter. Many of her stories are about the uneasy conjunction of opposites: evil and saintliness, love and hate, the difficult world of childhood and the dangerously simple world of adults. Borges has written that the cruelty of Ocampo’s stories is no doubt the result of the nobility of her soul, a judgement no less paradoxical than much of her own writing. Powerful and haunting, these stories about emotions carried to their limits are among the world’s finest. Preface by Jorge Luis Borges. ‘Silvina Ocampo is one of our best writers. Her stories have no equal in our literature.’ - Jorge Luis Borges. ‘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 marvellous. 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.


Ocampo SilvinaSilvina Ocampo Aguirre (July 28, 1903 - December 14, 1993) was an Argentine poet and short-fiction writer. Ocampo was born in Buenos Aires, the youngest of the six children of Manuel Ocampo and Ramona Aguirre. She was educated at home by tutors. One of her sisters was Victoria Ocampo, the publisher of the literarily important Argentine magazine Sur. She studied drawing in Paris under Giorgio de Chirico. She was married to Adolfo Bioy Casares, whose lover she became (1933) when Bioy was 19. They were married in 1940. In 1954 she adopted Bioy’s daughter with another woman, Marta Bioy Ocampo (1954–94), who was killed in an automobile accident just three weeks after Silvina Ocampo’s death, leaving two children. The estate of Silvina Ocampo and Adolfo Bioy Casares was recently (as of 2006) awarded by a Buenos Aires court to yet another love child of Adolfo Bioy Casares, Fabián Bioy. Fabián Bioy died, aged 40, in February 2006. With Fabián Bioy's death, it is likely the many documents and manuscripts of both writers will soon become available to scholars. Ocampo began as a writer with the book of short stories Viaje olvidado in 1937, and followed up with three books of poetry, Enumeración de la patria, Espacios métricos and Los sonetos del jardín. With Espacios métricos, which had been published in 1942 by the publishing house Sur, she won the Premio Municipal in 1954. She won the second prize in the National Poetry Comptetition for Los nombres in 1953 and came back to win the first place prize in 1962 with Lo amargo por dulce. Co-authored with Adolfo Bioy Casares, Ocampo published Los que aman, odian, in 1946, and with Juan Rodolfo Wilcock she published the theatrical work Los Traidores in 1956. With Borges and Bioy Casares, Ocampo co-authored the celebrated Antología de la literatura fantástica in 1940, and also the Antología poética Argentina in 1941.






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