Victoria Ocampo (1890-1979)
Through the generosity of Robert O'Grady, the Department of Special Collecitons currently possesses an original announcement of the creation of Sur, the cultural magazine founded and maintained by Victoria Ocampo throughout her life.
The oldest of six sisters, Victoria Ocampo grew up in the privileged environment of the Argentine elite. Frequent trips to Europe and schooling in several languages provided her with the ability to study a wide range of topics, yet her traditional father limited her education and forced her into marriage at the age of 27. Ocampo did not allow herself to be so easily manipulated, however, and separated from her husband to pursue her dream of becoming a writer. Undoubtedly, her beauty and vitality eased this transition, and in 1924 her first set of essays was compiled and published as Testimonios. These compilations would continue to appear under the same title until 1977. Ocampo's early work shows a concern for the civil rights of women, a cause she supported by helping found the Argentine Union of Women in 1936. She made her most lasting contribution to society in 1931 by founding the cultural magazine Sur, and was its first director, certainly a rarity for a woman at that time. Her international circle of literary friends helped free her from imprisonment in 1953 by the Perón regime and she continued to be a progressive thinker and writer until her death in 1979.
Special Collections currently possesses one letter written by Ocampo in 1930 that announces the upcoming publication of Sur. The letter also asks for help and offers a deluxe first edition of the magazine in return.
Aira, César. "Victoria Ocampo." Diccionario de autores latinoamericanos. Buenos Aires: Emecé, 2001. p. 398-399. (Hesburgh Library, Reference: PQ 7081.3 .A35 2001)
Bastos, María Luisa. "Victoria Ocampo." Latin American Writers. Ed Carlos A. Solé. New York: Scribner, 1989. p. 705-708. (Hesburgh Library, Reference: PQ 7081 .A1 L37 1989)