25 June 2009
Review: La continuacíon y otras páginas
La continuacion is an anthology of stories and poems from Silvina Ocampo, who was friends with Borges, married to Adolfo Bioy Casares, and sister to Olivia Ocampo. In reading her short stories, I found it tempting to compare her to her contemporaries, Borges and also Julio Cortazar, which isn't entirely fair. Ocampo is certainly drawing from some of the same influences as those authors, but her perspective and style are clearly her own.
Among the themes are the blurring of identity (probably used most effectively in "La casa de azucar"), memories of childhood ("La siesta en el cedro"), and textual games ("Carta bajo la cama" and "El diario de la Porfiria Bernal"). Ocampo usually injects these themes with her own particular approach, as with the air of mystery and sadness that pervades the childhood stories. Of particular note is the sensuality of some of the stories, brining a certain liveliness to those elements. Admittedly, not all of the stories are great. (Of particular note is "El pecado mortal" for its oddly engaging take on the intersection of religion and sex.) Some of the later tales seem to have interesting concepts, though used in ways that struck me as less original.
Overall, a pretty nice collection presenting a sampling from the authors lifelong output.