Latin America: Potted Cactus

The imperious autocrat of Argentina's intellectual life is a woman. Now 54, tall, tailored Victoria Ocampo has been her country's acknowledged "Queen of Letters" for nearly a quarter of a century.* As essayist, she speaks for the old traditions: the French-speaking aristocrat reluctant to cut the cord to Europe. As editor, she speaks for tomorrow: the new and national literature for which Argentina strives.

Only the snobbish, opulent, Paris-loving aristocracy of Argentina could have produced Victoria Ocampo. Her wealth is based on the feudal holdings of her estanciero ancestors. She was educated in Paris,...

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