The Promise and Forgotten Journey by Silvina Ocampo



Of the joys on the path of a reader is seeing a name that you see for years and years. Who is this person as we know today? This person who we hear of and don't know is likely to be a woman who's been neglected. This woman Safina. Oh compo was considered to be one of the great unknowns of South American Literature. She worked with or who we spore his when he was putting together his collection of fantastic literature working on that anthology as well was her husband. Cassavetes who wrote a book that Voorhis praised very highly the invention of Morrell. I read born face and Casado race as a young man but until recently I had never read much to my discredit savina Ocampo. Now I can say in my defense. The two of her books a novel and a book of Stories have just been translated and published by city. Lights press many people know city. Lights Bookstore do you also know that froing getty has oppress attached to that bookstore? Yes there is a press and they have published Safina Compost Forgotten Journey which is a book of short stories. But if I am not giving away too much the forgotten journey is the journey out of the womb into the world. This is a journey. None of US succeed in remembering completely. He did not remember it or face. He saw that. Silvino aqap ball had the gift he said of clairvoyance and so now. We have to thrilling books. Forgotten Journey a book of her short stories and I mean the longest is six pages and then a novel called the promise and we say an awful because it is probably the longest thing she wrote. But it's fairly a hundred pages. I have three translators here who have been working on Silvino compo and they are just some of the translators who are working on Silvino Compo. Because she's about to be the discovery that we have all been waiting for. It's very exciting. And one of these translators is the marvelous Suzanne Joe Levin who goes by the name June. Wien many of you will know as soon as I tell you that. She has translated. Cabrera Infanta. Julio Cortazar Carlos Fuentes Man will tweak Severo Saad we hand Buick Assad Race. And she's translated a great deal of poetry more than forty book on translations she is the dean of Spanish South American literature and translation with her are to people who've been her students and who worked with her on each of these two books. Jill how did you come to know? Savina OCAMPO's work well I came to know Selena. Compost work Because I had the good taste and look to make amazing Literary critic when I was very young New York name a mirror years ago and he with him I was down in Argentina and Together we went to the House of Combo They were married. They were married and so I met them for the first time but of course I had already heard of them because I studied Latin American literature in college and And I was at graduate school that time so but getting to meet. These people was like so exciting. You know it's sort of like meeting Gods When you're a student you're studying. These people like absolutely amazing. Did you also meet for his? At that time. I actually met him the year before because he was brought to yell to give a lecture and evolve bone. Was there also Savino Campbell about whom we're speaking being cassavetes and all who were triumvirate of sorts? Once they married for fifty years he continued to be their dinner guest and You know he as I said. He said of her that she was clairvoyant. She didn't take many photographs. She did not like to be photographed when you see a picture of Safina or Campo. It's not unusual for hands to be crossed in front of her face and if fast if she were going to this or that party she would sing with this ugly face. Jessica Powell use started to read Cedar Fina under the direction of Jill Levine. Yes I was first introduced to Selena's work many years ago in a translation seminar that I took with Jill when I was a graduate student at UC Santa Barbara and after that class ended Jilin. I decided to collaborate on a novella which was actually the only work that Silvino Compo and her husband Blake Assad wrote together and so it was lower haight which is fantastic and we co translated it. And after that Jill and I started talking about you know Oh wouldn't it be wonderful to translate more of Selena's works and so then in Katie a? New Young came on the scene and she's completing her doctorate and her dissertation is in part on Compo Katie's Latif John worked on the translation of forgotton journey. A book of short pieces. There has been also. I don't want to confuse anyone a book of poetry from the New York review books as well as another book covering the entire spectrum of So Vena or Campos pros. I've found my own beginning point. Were these two thrilling little books. Let's here who would like to read a section of Savino Compo? Who'd like to go start with the first black? I can read a section of the Olive Green Dress. The first paragraph from journey forgotten journey. The very first book of Savino Gone Full. Let's hear the first paragraph of the Olive Green dress the olive green dress. The display windows stepped forward to greet her. The only reason she had left the House that morning was to go shopping. Miss Hilton blushed easily her skin translucent as a waxed paper like those packages who's wrappings reveal. All that's inside but beneath such transparencies where the thinnest layers of mystery behind the branching veins growing a little tree over the surface. She was ageless unjust when one noticed the deepest wrinkles on her face or her long white braids. It was possible to catch an unexpected glimpse of her youth in some childlike gesture. Other times she seemed to have the smooth skin of a young girl and light blonde hair precisely at the moment when she looked as if old age had caught up with her. The first paragraph of a very short story called the Olive Green Dress as I read. The stories seem to escape from me as I moved forward in them. There's a strange quality of presence and absence coal joint as she writes. It's quite extraordinary and this first paragraph. Because it's so zigzag you know I I saw it begins with a very odd sentence received like awkward. How could display windows stepped forward to greet you of course? That's that's very surrealist element of you. Know which was the time she was writing in but you know she she young as she old. It's like going from a woman's You know perception of herself but you were talking about how she felt about. She looked I mean. I thought this is kind of interesting example now. Above of that of of those issues and so as very twisty this is Jill Levine. Who is perhaps the Guardian Angel of these three translators bringing savina Ocampo's writing into our present

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