Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Victoria Ocampo (April 7, 1890? - January 27, 1979) was an Argentine intellectual, described by Jorge Luis Borges as la mujer más argentina ("the most Argentine woman"). Best known as an advocate for others and as publisher of the magazine Sur, she was also a writer and critic in her own right.
Born in Buenos Aires, but raised and educated mostly in France (where she studied at the Sorbonne), she returned to Buenos Aires, where she was a linchpin of the intellectual scene of the 1920s and '30s. Her first book was De Francesca a Beatrice (1923?), a commentary on Dante's Divine Comedy; other works include Domingos en Hyde Park, El Hamlet de Laurence Olivier, Emily Bronte (Terra incógnita), a series called Testimonios, Virginia Woolf, Orlando y Cía, San Isidro and a posthumously published autobiography. There is also a published book of dialogues between Ocampo and Borges.
Perhaps more important than her own writing, she was founder (1931) and publisher of the Argentine magazine Sur, the most important literary magazine of its time in Latin America. Among the writers published in Sur were Enrique Anderson Imbert , José Bianco , Adolfo Bioy Casares, Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar, Albert Camus, Santiago Davobe , Ezequiel Martínez Estrada, Pierre Drieu La Rochelle, Waldo Frank , Eduardo Mallea , Silvina Ocampo (her younger sister), José Ortega y Gasset, Manuel Peyrou , Alfonso Reyes, Ernesto Sabato, and Enrique Pezzoni .
In 1953, Ocampo was briefly imprisoned for her open opposition to the regime of Juan Domingo Perón. Like many other anti-Peronists, notably including Borges, she was friendly to General Jorge Rafael Videla's de facto military regime that ruled Argentina in the 1970s; she was made a member of the Argentine Academy of Letters in 1976 (the first woman ever admitted to the Academy; she formally took her seat June 23, 1977). The "cultural dialog", initiated in 1977 by the de facto government but organized by UNESCO, was held in her home, Villa Ocampo, in San Isidro, Buenos Aires Province; she eventually donated the house to UNESCO.
Victoria Ocampo is buried in La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires.
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