In this, Silvina Ocampo's first book of stories, we discover the purest form of what would become her signature style over the years: lyrical, oneiric, and menacing—and an atmosphere, both mundane and mysterious, bordering on the fantastical.
Forgotten Journey takes its title from the story of a girl who struggles to recall the events of her birth in order to remember her identity. Another story follows a friendship between two girls, one poor and one wealthy, who grow up to appear identical to one another, enabling them to trade lives and families. In "The Enmity of Things," a young man begins to suspect that his mundane possessions are conspiring against him. When he flees to his rural childhood home, the silent countryside proves only more sinister and mysterious.
This collection of 28 short stories, first published in 1937 and now in English translation for the first time, introduced readers to one of Argentina's most original and iconic authors. With this, her fiction debut, poet Silvina Ocampo initiated a personal, idiosyncratic exploration of the politics of memory, a theme to which she would return again and again over the course of her unconventional life and productive career.
"I don't know of another writer who better captures the magic inside everyday rituals, the forbidden or hidden face that our mirrors don't show us."—Italo Calvino
"Like William Blake, Ocampo's first voice was that of a visual artist; in her writing she retains the will to unveil immaterial so that we might at least look at it if not touch it."—Helen Oyeyemi, author of Gingerbread
Forgotten Journey by Silvina Ocampo
City Lights Publishers 2019