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Childhood in the Works of Silvina Ocampo and Alejandra Pizarnik


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This volume explores the theme of childhood in the cuentista and poet Silvina Ocampo (1903-1993) and the poet Alejandra Pizarnik (1936-1972). It draws revealing comparisons between these key Argentine writers through their shared obsession with childhood, arguing that an understanding of their attitudes to childhood is fundamental to an appreciation of their work. Close reading of various Ocampo texts, including some for children, allows an exploration of her vision of childhood through nostalgia, adult-child power relationships, ageing and rejuvenation, and moments of initiation or imitation. Pizarnik is considered in relation to the myth of the child-poet, and her child personae are analysed through Breton's Surrealism, Cocteau and Paz; through her borrowings from Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and Breton's Nadja; and through her obsession with madness, death, orphanhood, violation and transgression. In the final analysis, Ocampo's works achieve equilibrium between childhood and age, whereas Pizarnik's poetic crisis of exile from language parallels her deep sense of anxiety at being exiled from the world of childhood.

FIONA MACKINTOSH lectures in Hispanic Studies at the University of Edinburgh.

Click here for a Spanish translation


An excellent reading of the interstices between the life and work of both writers. BULLETIN OF SPANISH STUDIES
An in-depth study that makes a considerable contribution... THE BULLETIN


First Published: 27 Nov 2003
13 Digit ISBN: 9781855660953
Pages: 207
Size: 23.4 x 15.6
Binding: Hardback
Imprint: Tamesis Books
BIC Class: GTB

Details updated on 05 Oct 2015