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Daniel Waissbein

Daniel Waissbein is a translator with the United Nations and has published articles on Borges and Neruda.

Dying for Madame Ocampo

Daniel Waissbein, 3 March 1988

Can a literary magazine, however important, be said to have played a fundamental role in the development of a national culture for almost half a century? Can one really say that Argentine culture has ‘developed’ over those same years? Is there, indeed, such a thing as a clearly definable Argentine culture, and if so, what does it consist of? These questions are not discussed in John King’s otherwise informative study of the Argentine literary journal Sur, from its inception in 1931 to its slow death in the Seventies and Eighties. Yet an answer to them, however approximate, is crucial to any attempt at placing the publication in the context referred to in the title of King’s study. He does, however, present us with an articulate, lucid and competent analysis of most – but not all – aspects of Spanish America’s best-known – to some, most prestigious, to others, most infamous – literary magazine. What is puzzling is that he himself cannot altogether make up his mind whether he sees the journal as having made a positive or a negative contribution.’

Letter

Borges and Bioy

8 July 2010

Michael Wood has an exalted view of Bioy Casares (LRB, 8 July). The stories Casares wrote with Borges (though in fact written mostly by Borges) are so inferior to Borges’s own that no one would ever pay them any attention were they not associated with Borges’s name. The anthologies they compiled, the classics they annotated, the series they edited, the screenplays they wrote (and the translations...
Letter

Viva Ocampo

3 March 1988

SIR: I am sorry that Ketaki Dyson (Letters, 5 May) thinks that I have used my review of John King’s study of Sur for an extended bout of Ocampo-bashing. She may, however, find after reading this reply that we are much more in agreement than she thought. She suggests, for example, that although I am aware that Victoria Ocampo’s many enemies in Argentina ‘have tended’, as I put...

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