Leopoldina's Dream (Penguin short fiction)

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9780140100112: Leopoldina's Dream (Penguin short fiction)

SILVINA OCAMPO WRITES IN A STYLE THAT HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED BY JORGE LUIS BORGES AND ITALO CALVINO AS ONE OF THE FINEST IN THE SPANISH LANGUAGE. HER STORIES WRITTEN WITH A DECEPTIVE SIMPLICITY, ARE AMONG THE MOST DISTURBING AND FASCINATING A READER CAN HOPE TO ENCOUNTER. MANY ARE ABOUT THE UNEASY CONJUNCTION OF OPPOSITES; OF EVIL AND SAINTLINESS, LOVE AND HATE, THE DIFFICULT WORLD OF CHILDHOOD AND THE DANGEROUSLY SIMPLE WORLD OF ADULTS. BORGES, WHO IS PROVIDING A PREFACE TO THIS COLLECTION, AS WRITTEN THAT THE CRUELTY OF HER STORIES IS NO DOUBT THE RESULT OF HER NOBILITY OF SOUL, A JUDGEMENT NO LESS PARADOXICAL THAN HER OWN WRITING.

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Language Notes:

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Spanish

From Publishers Weekly:

This collection by the Argentine author contains stories written in the 1940s, '50s and '60s. All 32 pieces reflect Ocampo's emphasis on style over plot and characterization, and her predilection for the surreal and mystical. Manifest throughout and always voiced in Ocampo's subtle, understated tones are themes of sin and forgiveness, of love and infidelity, of illness, death and murder. In "Voice on the Telephone," Fernando declares that "children's parties depress me" and that he avoids lighting cigarettes, and then reveals that, at his fourth birthday party, he and his friends locked their mothers in a room and set fire to the house. In "The Sibyl," a burglar encounters a young girl in a home he is robbing; she unexpectedly tells him, " 'You are the Lord, because you have a beard . . . . A Lord, to whom we must give all that we have.' " And in the fascinating "The Punishment," a tormented woman tells her lover a backwards version of her life story, proceeding from present to past and admitting just before she dies, " 'Remembering the past is killing me.' " These tales are eerily compelling, and Ocampo is a master of graceful, delicate writing, admirably translated by Balderston. But ultimately, her concentration on surreal, stylized situations renders the works opaque, and detaches the reader from her characters.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Silvina Ocampo, Daniel Balderston (Translator)
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