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Eight— A Question of Blood: The Conflict of Sex and Class in the Autobiografía of Victoria Ocampo

1. John King, "Towards a Reading of the Argentine Literary Magazine Sur ," Latin American Research Review 16, 2 (1981): 57-78. For the most extensive study of Sur , continue

see John King, " Sur and Argentine Culture: 1931-1970" (Ph.D. diss., Oxford University, 1982).

This question is discussed in the context of Ocampo's collected work in Janet Greenberg, "The Divided Self: Forms of Autobiography in the Writings of Victoria Ocampo" (Ph.D. diss., University of California, Berkeley, 1986). [BACK]

2. Of particular note is Sylvia Molloy's upcoming book on autobiography in Argentina which contains a significant rereading of Victoria Ocampo's autobiography. [BACK]

3. Although Ocampo had been writing her "Memorias" since the 1930s, the version finally published was composed in 1952-1953 and revised continuously until shortly before her death.

The Autobiografía has been published in six volumes by Ediciones Revista Sur (Buenos Aires): Volume 1: El archipiélago [the archipelago], 1979; 2: El imperio insular [the insular empire] (1980), 1982; 3: La rama de Salzburgo [the Salzburg branch] (1981), 1982; 4: Viraje [changing direction], 1982; 5: Figuras simbólicas—Medida de Francia [symbolic figures—using France as a measure], 1983; VI: Sur y Cía [Sur & Company], 1984. All dates in parentheses refer to the latest editions. [BACK]

4. John King, "Towards a Reading." [BACK]

5. "Victoria" (1981), rpt. in Páginas de José Bianco (Buenos Aires: Editorial Celtia, 1984), 184-185. [BACK]

6. Emir Rodríguez Monegal, "Victoria Ocampo," Vuelta 3, 30 (May 1979): 45. [BACK]

7. A term given its current meaning in feminist context by Adrienne Rich, "When We Dead Awaken: Writing in Re-Vision", in On Lies, Secrets, and Silence: Selected Prose, 1966-1978 (New York: W. W. Norton, 1979). Rich defines the critical "re-vision" of literature from a feminist perspective as ''the act of looking back, of seeing with fresh eyes, of entering an old text from a critical direction." This process "is for women more than a chapter in cultural history—it is an act of survival" (35). [BACK]

8. Elaine Showalter, "Feminist Criticism in the Wilderness," in Writing and Sexual Difference , special issue of Critical Inquiry 8, 2 (Winter 1981): 202-203. Showalter also describes two distinct varieties of feminist criticism—the first is concerned with "woman as reader," the second with "woman as writer"—in "Toward A Feminist Poetics," in The New Feminist Criticism: Essays on Women, Literature and Theory , ed. Elaine Showalter (New York: Pantheon Books, 1985). [BACK]

9. Elizabeth Abel, "Editor's Introduction," in Writing and Sexual Difference , 173. [BACK]

10. Emir Rodríguez Monegal, "Victoria Ocampo," 47. [BACK]

11. "Carta al lector a propósito del título," Testimonios III (Buenos Aires: Editorial Sudamericana, 1946), 8. [BACK]

12. "Mujeres en la Academia," Testimonios 10 (Buenos Aires: SUR, 1977), 19. [BACK]

13. See, for example, María Núñez, "Me casé para darle el gusto a mi padre" (the last part in a series of excerpts from the Autobiografía ), Para ti (Buenos Aires) 28 December 1980; and Ernesto Schoo, "La vida de Victoria Ocampo," pt. 3, Revista Siete Dias 9 (July 1980): 99-102. Prepublication excerpts were also published in La Nación and the Spanish edition of Life (exact dates unavailable).

A new wave of essays in homage to Ocampo also appeared in popular magazines after her death, some with extravagant photographs. See, for example, Luis Mazas, "Victoria Ocampo: La señora cultura," Somos 2, 64 (December 9, 1977); and María Ester Vázquez, "Homenaje a Victoria Ocampo: Una argentina universalita," Brigitte (Buenos Aires), 7 January 1980. break [BACK]

14. One of many flattering titles coined by the popular press. This appears in Luis Mazas, "Victoria Ocampo: La señora cultura," Somos (roughly equivalent to Time or Newsweek ), 2, 64 (December 9, 1977). [BACK]

15. Marcus K. Billson and Sidonie A. Smith discuss the distinction between women's autobiography and memoirs in "Lillian Hellman and the Strategy of the 'Other,' " in Women's Autobiography: Essays in Criticism , ed. Estelle C. Jelinek (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1980), 163. [BACK]

16. On Eva Perón's autobiography, see especially Marysa Navarro, "Of Sparrows and Condors: The Autobiography of Eva Perón," in The Female Autograph , ed. Domna Stanton (New York: Literary Forum, 1984), 205-211. [BACK]

17. Sandra Caruso Mortola Gilbert and Susan Dreyfuss David Gubar, "Ceremonies of the Alphabet: Female Grandmatologies and the Female Autograph," in The Female Autograph , ed. Domna C. Stanton, 25-26. The title plays on Jacques Lacan's term from Of Grammatology . [BACK]

18. Elizabeth Winston, "The Autobiographer and Her Readers: From Apology to Affirmation," in Woman's Autobiography: Essays in Criticism , ed. Estelle Jelinek, 95. [BACK]

19. Patricia Meyer Spacks, "Selves in Hiding," in Women's Autobiography: Essays in Criticism , ed. Estelle Jelinek, 131. [BACK]

20. This term was coined by Domna Stanton in "Autogynography: Is the Subject Different?" in The Female Autograph , ed. Domna Stanton. [BACK]

21. Miller, "Women's Autobiography in France: For a Dialectics of Identification," in Women and Language in Literature and Society , ed. Sally McConnell-Ginet, Ruth Borker, and Nelly Furman (New York: Praeger, 1980), 267. Miller expands on the distinction made by Helene Cixous in The Laugh of the Medusa of a "marked" masculine form of writing to include a "masculine mode of reception." [BACK]

22. See, for example, Philippe Lejeune's definition of "the autobiographical pact," first in L'autobiographie en France (Paris: Armand Colin, 1971) and then in Le pacte autobiographique (Paris: Seuil, 1975) and "Le pacte autobiographique (bis)," Poetique 56 (November 1983): 416-434. In "Women and Autobiography at Author's Expense," his only treatment of women's autobiography (in The Female Autograph , ed. Domna C. Stanton), Lejeune concludes that ''what women are undoubtedly trying to gain through the tool of autobiography is equality in the expression of unhappiness" (259).

Also see Roy Pascal's influential study, Design and Truth in Autobiography (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1960). [BACK]

23. Domna Stanton, "Autogynography," 6-7. [BACK]

24. Estelle Jelinek, "Introduction: Women's Autobiography and the Male Tradition," Women's Autobiography , 10. Other important studies of women, autobiography, and memory include Estelle C. Jelinek, The Tradition of Women's Autobiography: From Antiquity to the Present (Boston: Twayne, 1986); Dale Spender, ed., Personal Chronicles: Women's Autobiographical Writings , special issue of Women's Studies International Forum 10, 1 (1987); Margaret A. Lourie, Domna Stanton, and Martha Vicinus, eds., Women and Memory , special issue of Michigan Quarterly Review 36, 1 (Winter 1987). [BACK]

25. Jelinek, Women's Autobiography , 10. [BACK]

26. Patricia Meyer Spacks, "Selves in Hiding," 113. For a provocative discussion of variations on "confessional" and "spiritual" autobiographies by politically engaged women of the nineteenth century, see also Estelle Jelinek, "The Paradox and Success of E. Cady Stanton," Women's Autobiography . break [BACK]

27. In Emilie Bergmann's essay in the present volume, Sor Juana is treated as a central precursor to feminist consciousness and autobiographical practice. Also see Electa Arenal, "The Convent as Catalyst for Autonomy: Two Hispanic Nuns of the Seventeenth Century," in Women in Hispanic Literature: Icons and Fallen Idols , ed. Beth Miller (Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 1983), 174. [BACK]

28. Juan José Sebreli, "Victoria Ocampo" (1975), rpt. in De Buenos Aires y su gente: Antología (Buenos Aires: Centro Editor de América Latina, 1982), 144. Also see Blas Matamoro, Oligarquía y literatura (Buenos Aires: Libros del Tercer Mundo, 1975), with scathing chapters on Victoria and Silvina Ocampo, Manuel Mújica Lainez, and others. Variations on this line of criticism continue to be published regularly in the Argentine press. [BACK]

29. Adolfo Prieto, La literatura autobiográfica argentina (Buenos Aires: Centro Editor de América Latina, 1982), 50, 21. Prieto does not mention Ocampo, since she falls outside the chronological boundaries of his study. The memoirs and letters of Mariquita Sánchez (who does fall within the period) are mentioned only in passing; Prieto offers little apparatus for analyzing the memoirs of women or others who did not figure in the central military and political events of the period. [BACK]

30. Gilbert and Gubar, "Ceremonies," 25. [BACK]

31. See especially Delfina Bunge de Galvez, Viaje alrededor de mi infancia (1938) and La vida en los sueños (1951); Norah Lange, Cuadernos de infancia (1937); Carlotta Garrido de la Peña, Mis recuerdos (1935); María Rosa Oliver's three-volume autobiography, Mundo, mi casa: Recuerdos de infancia (1965), La vida cotidiana (1969), and Mi fé es el hombre (1981, published posthumously); and Silvina Bullrich, Mis memorias (1980). [BACK]

32. Elizabeth Winston, "The Autobiographer and Her Readers," 94-95. [BACK]

33. Ibid., 95. [BACK]

34. Nancy K. Miller, 262-263. [BACK]

35. Ibid., 270-272. See also Germaine Brée's essay on George Sand, "The Fictions of Autobiography," Nineteenth Century French Studies 4 (Summer 1976): 438-449. [BACK]

36. Rodríguez Monegal, "Victoria Ocampo," 47. [BACK]

37. Elaine Showalter, "Feminist Criticism in the Wilderness," 203. break [BACK]

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