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Baron Supervielle, Silvia 1934–

PERSONAL:

Born April 10, 1934, in Buenos Aires, Argentina; immigrated to France, 1961; daughter of Andrés and Raquel Baron Supervielle. Religion: Roman Catholic.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Paris, France.

CAREER:

Writer.

WRITINGS:

La distance de sable, preface by Yves Peyré, Granit (Paris, France), 1983.

Le mur transparent, T. Bouchard (Saint-Jean-de-Losne, France), 1986.

L'or de l'incertitude (prose), José Corti (Paris, France), 1990.

(Translator into French) Jorge Luis Borges, Les conjurés, Jacques T. Quentin (Geneva, Switzerland), 1990.

L'eau étrangère, José Corti (Paris, France), 1993.

Le livre du retour (prose), José Corti (Paris, France), 1993.

La frontière (prose), José Corti (Paris, France), 1995.

Nouvelles cantates: Collection en lisant, en ecrivant, José Corti (Paris, France), 1995.

Un été avec Geneviève Asse, L'Echoppe (Paris, France), 1996.

Après le pas, Arfuyen (Orbey, France) 1997.

La ligne et l'ombre (prose), Seuil (Paris, France), 2000.

La rive orientale (novel), Seuil (Paris, France), 2001.

Essais pour un espace (essays), Arfuyen (Orbey, France), 2001.

Payes de voyage, Arfuyen (Orbey, France), 2004.

Une simple possibilité, Seuil (Paris, France), 2004.

La forme intermédiare (novel), Seuil (Paris, France), 2006.

Translator of work by Argentine poets into French; also translated the work of Marguerite Yourcenar into Spanish.

SIDELIGHTS:

Silvia Baron Supervielle is, stated Times Literary Supplement contributor John Taylor, "an original, far-seeing emigrant writer who recounts her own dream deeply and honestly." Baron Supervielle, who was born in 1934 in Buenos Aires but immigrated to France when she was in her mid-twenties, has identified herself "with ancestors and explorers who sailed from Europe to the New World," according to Taylor. "Beginning in the late 1970s, she started publishing concise, elliptical poetry and richly textured prose, both focused on the implications of her exile." Included among her earlier works is Le livre du retour, which, according to World Literature Today contributor Maryann de Julio, "is at once a text, a story, and an act of recounting." "Regardless of the fact that Le livre du retour is most often about the particularities of reading and writing, when we read [Baron] Supervielle, we open ourselves to the marvelous," observed de Julio.

Baron Supervielle's more recent work includes La frontière and Nouvelles cantates: Collection en lisant, en ecrivant, both of which were given complimentary reviews in World Literature Today. Mechthild Cranston recognized Nouvelles cantates as a "notebook" containing biblical passages which [Baron] Supervielle highlighted and noted when reading. The author, cited Cranston, positively compared "reading her own biblical morceaux choisis" to that of "Virgil, Dante, Montaigne, [and] Beckett." "Linked by the power of language at moments of crisis, urgency, revelation, these new canticles call our attention to what is vital, essential, mysterious, anterior to all the books of our lives," concluded Cranston. De Julio's assessment of La frontière praised Baron Supervielle and her "poetic narrative … about boundaries and limits." "Supervielle allows herself a range of inventive possibility that exploits a model for writing…. [Readers] are moved from character as a hypothetical abstraction to the craft of abstraction itself."

Baron Supervielle's La legne et l'ombre "casts an elucidating light on her earlier [works] … [and] deserves a wide readership," observed Taylor, who summarized: "A work of full maturity, [La ligne et l'ombre is a] fascinating tapestry of perceptions, memories, thoughts and daydreams [that] weaves together passages set in her Parisian apartment, her house in Brittany, the streets of Buenos Aires, and her childhood summers home in Uruguay…. Melancholy tango lyrics are sprinkled throughout this spiritual autobiography."

Baron Supervielle told CA: "My writing is very much inspired by my past in Argentina and its landscape."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Times Literary Supplement, March 19, 1999, John Taylor, "Return Journey," p. 34; October 12, 2001, review of La rive orientale, p. 10.

World Literature Today, spring, 1994, Maryann de Julio, review of Le livre du retour, p. 343; summer, 1996, Maryann de Julio, review of La frontière, p. 655; summer, 1996, Mechthild Cranston, review of Nouvelles cantates: Collection en lisant, en ecrivant, p. 657; summer-autumn, 2002, E. Nicole Meyer, review of La rive orientale, p. 113.

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Baron Supervielle, Silvia 1934–

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