Additional Book Information

Series: NYRB Poets
Pages: 160
Publication Date: January 27, 2015

Silvina Ocampo

by Silvina Ocampo, a new translation from the Spanish by Jason Weiss

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Silvina Ocampo possessed her own special enchantment as a poet, and only now is her extraordinary poetic achievement becoming more widely recognized beyond Latin America.

Remarkably, this is the first collection of Ocampo’s poetry to appear in English. From her early sonnets on the native Argentine landscape, to her meditations on love’s travails, to her explorations of the kinship between plant and animal realms, to her clairvoyant inquiries into history and myth and memory, readers will find the full range of Ocampo’s “metaphysical lyricism” (The Independent) represented in this groundbreaking Silvina Ocampo, a new translation from the Spanish by Jason Weiss


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

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

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

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