Forgotten Journey, a collection of 28 short stories first published in 1937, was the world's introduction to Silvina Ocampo, considered one of Argentina's most original and iconic authors. With it, Ocampo initiated a personal, idiosyncratic politics of memory, writing in what would become her signature lyrical, oneiric, and slightly menacing style, a theme to which she would return again and again over the course of her long and productive career. Plots give way to the wiles of events being narrated, protagonists are often unaware of what's going on, and the atmosphere almost always borders on a nightmarish, fantastical dimension.
The collection takes its title from its eponymous story of a girl who struggles to recall the events of her birth in order to regain the memory of her identity. In this vein, Forgotten Journey follows girls and women at different stages of life, grappling with identity, memory, and the cruelty of the worlds they inhabit. Helpless children, faithful servants, gardeners and governesses, circus performers and lovers: Ocampo writes characters at the margins of what would optimistically be called "the believable," crafting unrealities and warping language to realize a logic of dreams, memory, and a child's imagination.
Delicately crafted, intensely visual, deeply Argentine in their tone as well as for their autobiographical content, the stories in Ocampo's first book anticipate the future work of one of the Spanish-language world's most brilliant writers.