Apr 14, 2021 By: Nora Benedict
Volume 6, Cycle 1
No tengo sino libros que leo, marco con lápiz y acaban medio desencuadernados si los frecuento demasiado.
(I only own books that I read, mark with pencil, and that end up with broken spines because I read them so much.)
—Victoria Ocampo, “De la cartilla al libro” (From Notebook to Book) (1959)
In the second volume of her Testimonios, Victoria Ocampo recalls how her friend, Virginia Woolf, insisted that she must “guardar el dinero para la revista [Sur] y los libros” (save money for her journal [Sur] and books). Drawing on her own publishing experience with the Hogarth Press, Woolf acknowledges both the literary importance of Ocampo’s journal as well as the inherent financial strain of maintaining it. The world of publishing involves great risk, but the rewards can be even greater, as Woolf notes: “¿Sabe usted que nosotros vivimos de la Hogarth Press?” (Did you know that we live off of the Hogarth Press?) (Ocampo, Testimonios. Segunda serie, 282). In light of the decades-long run of Ocampo’s Sur enterprise (1931–1970), it is clear that she took Woolf’s advice to heart and invested virtually all of her time and resources into this literary endeavor. But what about the money she spent on books? Which titles piqued her interest, where did she purchase them, and at what cost? While there is a large body of research dedicated to Ocampo’s literary journal, few scholars have considered the ways in which the books that she acquired over the years influenced her editorial decisions and literary interests. In this paper I will look to archival materials to help shed light on Ocampo’s transatlantic literary purchases in the book world. More specifically, I will analyze extant receipts from one of Ocampo’s preferred bookshops, Sylvia Beach’s Shakespeare and Company, in an effort to reveal her strategic investment in not only books, but also foundational literary circles.
Ocampo’s global reach and nuanced networks placed her in contact with hundreds of writers and artists from nearly every part of the world throughout the twentieth century. As a result, it should come as no surprise that she developed close ties with both Adrienne Monnier and Sylvia Beach, two of Paris’s most iconic booksellers. Monnier founded La Maison des Amis des Livres bookstore and lending library on November 15, 1915. At the time she was one of the few women in France to own and operate her own bookstore, which set her apart from other shops, and also speaks to her continued investment in other female booksellers. Beach traveled to Paris in 1917 from the United States to study contemporary French literature, and shortly after stumbled upon Monnier’s bookstore, where she would meet countless French authors and intellectuals, and also develop a lasting, intimate friendship with its owner. Under Monnier’s auspices, Beach invested her (mother’s) savings into a shop of her own, Shakespeare and Company, which first opened its doors on November 19, 1919, almost four years to the day after Monnier’s establishment of La Maison des Amis des Livres. As Beach recalls, “Adrienne had had four years of experience as a bookseller. She had opened her shop in the midst of a war and, moreover, kept it going. She promised to advise me in my first steps; also to send me lots of customers. The French, as I knew, were very eager to get a hold of our new writers, and it seemed to me that a little American bookshop on the Left Bank would be welcome.” Beach’s invested French clientele, however, were not the only ones eager to acquire the newest English-language writers that lined her bookshelves.
In the winter of 1928 Victoria Ocampo traveled to Paris for the first time in fifteen years. Shortly after her arrival “she went to the rue de l’Odéon to see for herself what [Ricardo] Güiraldes had told her was one the landmarks of Paris, ‘La Maison des Amis des Livres.’” She quickly became friends with not only Adrienne Monnier, but also Sylvia Beach. In fact, “it was Beach who, in 1929, first recommended to Victoria that she read the works of the English novelist and essayist Virginia Woolf, especially a little book published that year entitled A Room of One’s Own” (Meyer, Victoria Ocampo, 102). Ocampo remained in close contact with both Monnier and Beach for the remainder of their lives and provided them with unwavering support. Most notable is her financial assistance during and after the Second World War. She sent money and visas to aid several of her friends in their escape from France—including Gisèle Freund, Roger Caillois, and Denis de Rougemont—and she also helped sponsor “a shipment of clothes, food, and other rationed items to Adrienne Monnier, who would distribute them to writers at ‘La Maison des Amis des Livres’” (Meyer, Victoria Ocampo, 102–103). After the war, Monnier and many of her close friends organized a tribute to Ocampo to express their deepest gratitude and admiration for her friendship. From this brief biographical sketch it is clear that Ocampo, Monnier, and Beach were not just acquaintances, but rather close friends and, furthermore, a crucial hub of international literary exchange.
The Transcontinental Book Trade
In a pre-digital era, printed materials—from books and pamphlets to other ephemera—are one of the primary means of physically sharing ideas, concepts, and narratives across cultures and continents due in large part to their portability. As Sydney Shep notes, “[b]ooks as texts can travel long distances, define different ideological spheres, negotiate new diasporic identities and transform cultures.” While this movement of materials allows for the circulation of new and previously unknown knowledge, it also allows for the mutation of information. For instance, Isabel Hofmeyr contends in her study of Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress that “when books travel, they change shape. They are excised, summarized, abridged, and bowdlerized by the new intellectual formations into which they migrate.” When books cross the Atlantic or travel to new continents, they often withstand an additional type of textual transformation: translation. While many translators strive to produce faithful and accurate versions of original texts, we must acknowledge the fact that any translation will always be a new work. In their effort to make legible texts that will be appropriate for readers with different cultural referents and understandings of the world, translators continually make linguistic decisions that shape, and alter, the original work. Translation is fundamentally an interpretive act, and the only consistently recognizable element that adorns these transformed texts is the original author’s name. In short, new markets determine how to present and use these newly acquired books and, in the process, recontextualize them. A book’s mobility becomes synonymous with its mutability.
On a macro level, this mutability and, therefore, availability of books around the globe alters our understanding of literature by exposing us to new models, traditions, and styles of writing. Consider the case of Beach’s Shakespeare and Company. A bookshop on the Left Bank in France that was owned and operated by an American expatriate and stocked with English-language titles produced primarily in the United States and England. Beach describes her initial process of acquiring these foreign books to start her shop as follows: “Cyprian, who was in the United States just then, sent me the latest American books. I went over to London and brought back two trunks full of English books, mostly poetry . . . On the way to the boat train, I stopped in Cork Street at the little bookshop of the publisher and bookseller Elkin Mathews to order my Yeats, Joyce, and Pound” (Beach, Shakespeare and Company, 18–19). While these books did not undergo any textual modification, they were subject to what B. Venkat Mani calls bibliomigrancy, or the “physical and virtual migration of literature as books from one part of the world to another.” He argues that “this migration of literature as books . . . contributes to the creation of worldwide readership . . . It is through bibliomigrancy that literary works that are identified—coded—as part of a national literature acquire new identities and are recoded as world literature” (Mani, Recording World Literature, 10). Viewed from this perspective, all of the books that line the shelves in Beach’s shop take on new social and literary histories due to their transcontinental move from one context of production and consumption to another. Whether books travel intranationally or internationally, they will encounter distinct markets and, above all, distinct readers. These print materials may also deviate from a region’s established literary traditions and, thus, forever change them. Moreover, the specific books that Beach chose for her bookshop showcase her desire to curate a selection of English and American titles that speaks to her interests in these countries’ literary production for her customers.
Proof of Purchase
Beach’s love of literature and insatiable reading habits initially inspired her to open Shakespeare and Company on the Left Bank, and she never saw her shop as “just a business,” but rather as “the cause of the best literature” (Beach, Shakespeare and Company, xviii). That is to say, she was always eager to share her interests and literary insights with the world, and not necessarily profit from these exchanges. A case in point is her renowned lending library. Since many of the works that Beach recommended were rare and expensive commodities, such as most modernist works that “were luxuries the French and [her] Left Bankers were not able to afford,” Beach would lend her own personal copies of these much-coveted books to interested readers at a fraction of the cost (Beach, Shakespeare and Company, 21). The books that Beach carried were considered “luxuries” for a variety of reasons. First, some titles that she had in stock were deluxe editions, which is the case for James Joyce’s Ulysses. Since these types of books typically were printed on handmade paper, with expensive bindings, and even signed by their authors, they naturally had a higher cost. Second, because Beach imported the majority of her titles from foreign publishers, the cost of most of her books was higher than locally sourced works at other bookshops. Finally, after leaving the gold standard at the start of World War One, the franc had an extremely low value in comparison with other foreign currencies—especially the United States dollar or the British pound—which meant that many basic items, like books, became luxury items for Beach’s Parisian customers. She recalls, therefore, how “[l]ending books . . . was much easier in Paris than selling them” (Beach, Shakespeare and Company, 21). Who, then, was her paying clientele and how do these communities impact our understanding of Beach’s role in promoting cross-cultural literacies? As we shall see, Beach’s literary influence—and paper trail—extends far beyond the Left Bank.
Even though Sylvia Beach was known for her “imperfect record keeping,” her extant papers housed at Princeton University provide an intimate glimpse into this bookseller’s day-to-day activities (Fitch, Sylvia Beach and the Lost Generation, 161). The largest portion of this collection consists of files pertaining to her Shakespeare and Company bookshop, such as card catalogues for her massive lending library, business correspondence, and a series of writers’ manuscripts and publications. This archive also contains personal correspondence, family records, photographs, and Beach’s own writings and translations. Within the one hundred and eighty boxes that make up this collection there are two folders labeled “Ocampo, Victoria.” The first folder contains a photograph of Ocampo that she inscribed as follows: “For Sylvia Beach avec toute ma sympathie—Victoria Ocampo, Paris 1934.” A small stamp on the photograph tells us that the Argentine photographer, Nicolás Schonfeld (“Estudio Schonfeld”), took it, which suggests that Ocampo brought several copies of this image with her to Paris. While Ocampo’s ties to Beach and her bookshop are known, this photographic evidence solidifies their close relationship.
The second folder dedicated to Ocampo in Beach’s papers contains five items: a calling card, an issue of the literary journal Sur, two sales receipts, and a letter from Carlos Maria Reyles to Adrienne Monnier. The calling card is Ocampo’s. It is addressed to Beach and most likely accompanied a gift since the backside, in Beach’s handwriting, reads: “got lovely green scarf from Victoria. Feb. 9 46.” The issue of Sur is number 184, which dates from February 1950. From the table of contents, we learn that Beach contributed an essay about her publication of Joyce’s Ulysses to this specific issue, which explains why she would own a copy of it. Further evidence for this argument about why Beach might own a copy of this specific issue of Sur is supported by the fact that all of the pages of the issue remain unopened, with the exception of those pages that correspond to her essay.
The last three items in this second folder—two receipts and a letter—pertain to book purchases that Ocampo made at Shakespeare and Company between 1934 and 1935 and will be central to the remainder of my analysis. The first receipt dates from November 13, 1934 and lists just one purchase: Joyce’s Exiles for 26 francs.
The second receipt is for a much larger transaction on January 13, 1935, exactly two months after her first purchase. Here we see that Ocampo acquired a total of fourteen books for the hefty sum of 407.50 francs.
Seven of these fourteen titles are either authored by Woolf or prefaced by her (including what appears to be a luxury first edition of her Kew Gardens based on its price), three are by Dorothy Richardson, two relate to the works of Shakespeare, and the two remaining titles are poetic works by Cecil Day-Lewis and William Schwenck Gilbert. The final item in this second folder is a letter, dated March 2, 1936, from Carlos Maria Reyles to Adrienne Monnier that details Ocampo’s payment for the books she purchased from Shakespeare and Company. Reyles mentions an enclosed check of 300 francs, which suggests that Ocampo paid her balance in person or in a previous check.
Having described the general contents of the two Ocampo folders in the Sylvia Beach papers, I will now turn to a more detailed analysis of the two receipts and the specific books that Ocampo purchased at Shakespeare and Company. While the first receipt lists just one work—Joyce’s Exiles—it nonetheless reveals a great deal about Ocampo’s process of selecting titles to translate and circulate within her publishing house. Ocampo purchased Joyce’s Exiles from Beach in November 1934, and this exact work appears in translation with her Editorial Sur in 1937. The fact that this book is the only one present on the earlier of these two extant receipts might indicate that Ocampo first went to Beach’s shop in order to find an exemplary work of modernist literature to bring back to her Argentine readers. Most of the books that Ocampo published with her Editorial Sur not only reflect her own interests, but also demonstrate a profound awareness of global literary trends. Joyce’s Exiles falls into both of these categories. Joyce was already a well-known figure in the literary world, which makes him an ideal choice for translation and circulation in Latin America. Thanks to Beach’s daring decision to publish Ulysses, Joyce skyrocketed to international fame. Joyce himself also spent a great deal of time at Shakespeare and Company—meeting with friends or borrowing the latest books from Beach’s lending library—which confirms his close ties to the shop, its owner, and the (Parisian) literary world at large.
Yet Ocampo’s decision not to purchase Joyce’s monumental work during this particular visit to Shakespeare and Company, but rather his only extant theatrical work, suggests several things. First, it highlights the arduous task of translation, which Ocampo also touches on in the Editorial Sur’s publicity material for its edition of Desterrados (Exiles): “Pero sucede que no hay en la actual literatura universal libro de más difícil acceso que el Ulises, y como por su lenguaje y extensión la faena de traducirlo resulta empresa sobremanera ardua, probablemente pasarán muchos años antes de que pueda intentarse esa total versión” (But it just so happens that there is no book in all of world literature that is more difficult to access than Ulysses, and due to its language and length the task of translating it would be an enormously arduous business, thus it will probably be many years before anyone attempts such a translation in its totality).
The decision to publish Joyce’s Exiles, as opposed to his Ulysses, is, therefore, strategic. It is not only an easier work to translate, but also a much more approachable work for many first-time readers of Joyce in Buenos Aires.
In light of its popularity, one might imagine that securing copyright to publish a foreign-language version of Ulysses could be complicated. However, because Beach owned the rights to publish the work, and also served as Joyce’s literary agent, it would not have been any more difficult for Ocampo to secure the rights to translate and publish Ulysses than it was for her to do so with Exiles. This peculiar situation accentuates one final concern that most likely impacted Ocampo’s decision not to translate and publish Joyce’s Ulysses: its controversial censorship and subsequent piracy issues. As Joseph Brooker notes, “[t]wo things are widely believed about Ulysses: that it is difficult, and that it is obscene.” When the Little Review first published the “Nausicaa” episode of the novel in 1920, which contained an explicit masturbation scene, obscenity charges were leveled against the magazine’s editors. After a guilty verdict was reached in trial, Ulysses was officially banned from publication in the United States. This only increased demand for the novel, and, as a result, led to a number of pirated editions. The most notable of these unauthorized versions of Ulysses was that of “the biggest literary pirate of the 1920s”: Samuel Roth. Viewed together, all of these factors explain Ocampo’s astute decision to bring Joyce’s lesser-known Exiles from the shelves of Shakespeare and Company to her Argentine readers.
As previously mentioned, the majority of the titles on the second receipt bear Woolf’s name, whether as author, prologist, or printer. The purchase of these seven works points to Ocampo’s desire to familiarize herself with as much of Woolf’s work as possible. In fact, Ocampo met Woolf for the first time a few months prior to this large purchase, which sparked their lasting friendship. In the months following this large book purchase we see Ocampo including a variety of articles about Woolf and her writings in the pages of Sur. These contributions take the form of translations of Woolf’s original writings, essays about her contributions to the literary world, and letters from the author herself. For instance, the first chapter of Un cuarto propio (A Room of One’s Own), translated in its entirety by Jorge Luis Borges, appears in the December 1935 issue (#15), and continues in installments until the March 1936 issue (#18). This style of publication recalls nineteenth-century serial publications and speaks to a desire to market Woolf’s work as thoroughly as possible. A similar situation occurs with Virginia Woolf, Orlando y Cía (Virginia Woolf, Orlando and Co.), a lecture that Ocampo gave on July 7, 1937 for the “Amigos del Arte” in Buenos Aires, which is first printed within the pages of Sur in August 1937 and then appears in book format with the Editorial Sur a mere five months later in January 1938. A few other notable publications by or about Woolf that Ocampo pens or translates for Sur are Tres Guineas (Three Guineas) (1941) and Diario de una escritora (A Writer’s Diary) (1954). She also publishes Antonio Marichalar’s translation of “Pasa el tiempo” (“Time Passes”) from Al faro (To the Lighthouse) in Sur before she releases the entire book with Editorial Sur in 1938. Broadly speaking, Ocampo’s Sur enterprise played a crucial role in disseminating key literary works from around the globe that had previously been linguistically and financially inaccessible for many porteño readers. The vast majority of these translations, which were always “autorizadas por los autores” (authorized by the authors), were undertaken by close friends and colleagues of Ocampo, many of whom also served on the firm’s editorial board, including Borges, José Bianco, and Guillermo de Torre. In essence, Ocampo took full advantage of the rapid growth of the publishing industry in Buenos Aires during the 1930s and 1940s and produced and marketed books of global interest, which is especially clear when we consider the fact that the largest portion of her purchase in question from Beach’s Shakespeare and Company perfectly maps onto European literary trends, which, in turn, serve to populate many of the pages of her literary journal and publishing house.
A series of annotations on this second receipt that pertain to Woolf’s Night and Day require a closer look. More specifically, this title has the letters “O. P.” written after it in pencil by either Beach or one of her colleagues, which suggests that this work was out of print and unavailable for purchase. An additional handwritten note at the bottom of the receipt supports this claim: “S. B. [Sylvia Beach] owes V. O. [Victoria Ocampo] for Night & Day 23 f. [francs].” However, a third extant receipt from Beach’s papers confirms that Ocampo not only received a copy of Night and Day, but also that it was supplied to her directly from the Hogarth Press.
This invoice also reveals that Night and Day, along with two other titles authored by Woolf and one prefaced by Woolf, were sold to Ocampo at a discounted rate (30%) since these lower prices (in pounds) correspond to the prices on Beach’s original receipts (in francs). Aside from establishing that Ocampo successfully acquired a copy of the out-of-print Night and Day, this additional receipt further evinces the meaningful relationship between Ocampo and Woolf.
The three titles by Dorothy Richardson (1873–1957) on Ocampo’s second Shakespeare and Company receipt should be analyzed in tandem with those of Woolf. While Richardson’s name is not as well-known as Woolf’s, both writers strongly advocated for the importance of women’s voices and made sizable contributions to modernist literature. In fact, Richardson’s experimental writing style—one of the first to be termed a stream-of-consciousness style—is considered a precursor to Woolf’s, yet she only recently has received the recognition that she deserves for her literary accomplishments. The three works that Ocampo purchased from Beach—Pointed Roofs, Honeycomb, and Backwater—are all part of Richardson’s monumental work, Pilgrimage (1915–1938), which consists of thirteen volumes, or chapters as Richardson called them. Broadly speaking, the work follows the life of its protagonist, Miriam Henderson, over the course of a period of eighteen years. In addition to her pioneering use of a highly modernist style, Richardson also provides readers with an “unauthorized journey through the interior spaces of a female character’s consciousness” coupled with “the novelty of Miriam’s unauthorized journey through the public spaces of a male dominated culture.”
In her reviews of Pilgrimage, Woolf highlights its technical innovations as well as its prominent development of “the psychological sentence of the feminine gender.” She describes this “woman’s sentence” as follows in her review of Revolving Lights, Richardson’s seventh chapter in the work:
It is of a more elastic fibre than the old, capable of stretching to the extreme, of suspending the frailest particles, of enveloping the vaguest shapes. Other writers of the opposite sex have used sentences of this description and stretched them to the extreme. But there is a difference. Miss Richardson has fashioned her sentence consciously, in order that it may descend to the depths and investigate the crannies of Miriam Henderson’s consciousness. It is a woman’s sentence, but only in the sense that it is used to describe a woman’s mind by a writer who is neither proud nor afraid of anything that she may discover in the psychology of her sex. (Woolf, “Romance and the Heart,” 229)
Here we see Woolf homing in on Richardson’s stream-of-consciousness style and the ways in which she enables readers to enter the mind of her protagonist. While Woolf praises Richardson for her style here, her earlier review of The Tunnel, which is the fourth chapter in Pilgrimage, describes this installment as leaving the reader with “a slight sense of disappointment” for all that the author sacrificed in order to achieve her desired interior monologues. In any case, the thematic and stylistic overlaps that Pilgrimage shares with Woolf’s writings point to its influence on her work. These shared literary aspects between Richardson’s work and that of Woolf, coupled with both writers’ strong feminist critiques of society at large, suggest the fact that Beach might have recommended Richardson’s Pilgrimage to Ocampo. Given that Ocampo only purchased the first three chapters in this work, when all but the final two were available in print, further indicates that Beach recommended Richardson’s work to Ocampo, and that it was not necessarily her personal choice, in contrast with virtually all of the other titles that we find on these two extant receipts.
Returning to the second receipt, Ocampo’s purchase of Shakespeare’s Complete Works illustrates her continued investment in seminal English literary traditions. Moreover, her additional acquisition of C. T. Onion’s Shakespeare Glossary, which is known for its explication of the many idioms and colloquial phrases that appeared throughout all of Shakespeare’s works, highlights not only Ocampo’s interest in English literature, but also her dedication to this field as a source of scholarly inquiry. In fact, both of these texts more than likely aided her as she prepared her lecture, “Historia de mi amistad con los libros ingleses” (The History of My Friendship with English Books), for the Exposition of English Books in Buenos Aires in 1940. More specifically, she spends a great deal of time discussing Shakespeare in this lecture yet concludes that “[q]uerer explicarle Shakespeare a alguien es en cierto modo . . . querer explicarle la vida: es menester que la descubra por sí mismo” (trying to explain Shakespeare to someone is in a sense like trying to explain life to someone: it is necessary for her to discover it for herself). Along with this lecture, Ocampo also dedicates an entire double issue of her literary journal Sur to Shakespeare in 1964, in celebration of his four-hundredth birthday. In her opening essay to these special issues, Ocampo reiterates many of her earlier sentiments about the importance of Shakespeare, and also emphasizes that these issues will not necessarily contain “escritos sorprendentes por su erudición” (writings that are surprising for their erudition), but rather “[testimonios argentinos] sobre Shakespeare” ([Argentine testimonies] about Shakespeare). In this way Ocampo not only brings Shakespeare to Argentina, but also makes his work more meaningful for Latin American readers by showcasing how Latin American writers engage with and interpret his works.
The final two items listed on Ocampo’s second receipt from Shakespeare and Company reflect her predilection for English verse. While W. S. Gilbert’s collection of satirical poems, which are illustrated with his own drawings, might be for Ocampo’s leisure reading, C. Day-Lewis’s A Hope for Poetry is a much more serious study on the effects of poetry on economics, specifically his own verses and those of some of his close friends and colleagues, such as T. S. Eliot. Day-Lewis’s work, therefore, might have served as a potential source of research for types of materials to include in upcoming issues of Sur on global literary trends. In fact, several of the issues raised in this work echo many of the poetic themes that run throughout a special issue in Sur on United States literature (1944). Ocampo also included Day-Lewis’s work in her later anthology of Literatura contemporánea (1957), which indicates the lasting impression of his work on her. In short, virtually all of Ocampo’s purchases not only highlight her literary preferences, but also demonstrate the ways in which she might have planned and prepared for issues of Sur or even public lectures and talks that she was slated to give. All of this further emphasizes the fact that the books that Ocampo purchased were acquired to be used, not simply collected.
To confirm that all of the purchased books were, indeed, for Ocampo’s personal use, I crosschecked the list of books from her receipts with her extant library in Buenos Aires, and found that all but four of the titles still line her shelves.
Even though the original receipts do not specify publishers or publication dates, we can compare the list of titles with books in Ocampo’s library and limit the dates of publication by the dates of purchase to get a better sense of the editions that she most likely acquired from her visits to Shakespeare and Company. For instance, we know that the copy of Joyce’s Exiles that Ocampo purchased from Beach must have been an edition that was produced before November 13, 1934. Ocampo’s library contains just one copy of Exiles—the Egoist Press edition from 1921—which, in all likelihood was the exact edition that she acquired from Beach’s Shakespeare and Company.
Broadly speaking, Ocampo would not have purchased these books, or any others at Beach’s shop, without an interest in reading them: “No tengo sino libros que leo, marco con lápiz y acaban medio desencuadernados si los frecuento demasiado” (I only own books that I read, mark with pencil, and that end up with broken spines because I read them so much). While she admits to enjoying, above all “los libros bien impresos, en buen papel, con buenas encuadernaciones” (well-printed books, on good paper, with good bindings), Ocampo also highlights the fact that she has “poquísimos que tengan esas características” (very few with those features) in her collection (Ocampo, “De cartilla al libro,” 135). Above all Ocampo stresses her belief that books are meant to be read and savored for their literary content. These extant sales receipts, therefore, are even more telling. She would not have purchased these works simply to adorn her library shelves and impress dinner guests, but rather to read and learn from them. In a similar vein, her surviving library, which contains over 13,000 books and periodicals, is testament to her profound knowledge of a variety of literatures and, as a result, her keen aptitude for purchasing (and producing) books. The four books that are missing from her extant collection at Villa Ocampo—Virginia Woolf’s Kew Gardens and Dorothy Richardson’s three volumes—speak to one of three things: either she purchased these books as a gift for someone else, she lent them out to a friend or family member, or they were “pilfered from the estate” after her death.
The books that Ocampo purchased from Beach’s Shakespeare and Company emphasize, above all, her interest in modernist (English) literature. In fact, Ocampo spoke fondly of her intimate relationship with English books on several occasions, most notably during the previously mentioned lecture she gave in 1940: “los libros ingleses me habían contado tantas cosas, humildes o importantes, sus páginas me habían revelado tantos secretos, que siempre he entrado en ese país con un paso seguro de sonámbula” (English books have told me so many things, whether modest or important, their pages have revealed so many secrets to me, that I have always entered that country firmly as a sleepwalker) (Ocampo, “Historia de mi amistad con los libros ingleses,” 32–33). It comes as no surprise, therefore, that she purchased a large number of English titles throughout her lifetime. She even recalls that “los primeros libros que hemos leído, yo y mis hermanas, fueron franceses e ingleses” (the first books that we read, my sisters and I, were French and English) (Ocampo, “De cartilla al libro,” 140). Beach’s Shakespeare and Company, therefore, filled with the newest and most coveted English-language books, was like a home away from home for Ocampo and an ideal place to continue her literary education.
Global Book Markets: Translating Literary Exchange
In the early part of the twentieth century, small bookshops, like Beach’s Shakespeare and Company or Monnier’s La Maison des Amis des Livres, “[operated] as the fulcrum between culture and commerce.” They were, in the words of Lawrence Rainey, a “composite social space” in which public and private life coalesced. As a public space, Beach’s shop allowed for browsing and chance encounters with both authors and books. As a private space, her shop was an extension of her own home where literary exchanges were more common than economic transactions. On any given day an unassuming passerby might walk into Shakespeare and Company, brush shoulders with some of the most well-known literary figures of the time—such as James Joyce, T. S. Eliot, or Ernest Hemingway—, and leave with a work of modernist fiction. This uniquely composite space of Beach’s shop has been analyzed most heavily for its impact on literary modernism. However, examining the day-to-day financial records of Shakespeare and Company reveals a series of lesser-studied literary markets and channels of communication between the global south and the global north. In the case of Ocampo, the exchanges that took place in Beach’s bookshop were much more than just economic; they were, above all, intellectual exchanges. From her frequent visits to Shakespeare and Company—as well as La Maison des Amis des Livres—Ocampo became an integral member of a close-knit circle of feminist thinkers, which included not only Sylvia Beach and Adrienne Monnier, but also Virginia Woolf, Simone de Beauvoir, and Gisèle Freund, among others. The many interactions that Ocampo had with these women, which were made possible through her continued financial and intellectual investment in these Parisian bookstores, greatly impacted her writings and editorial endeavors.
Comparing and contrasting the books that Ocampo purchased from Shakespeare and Company with the catalogues for her own publishing house provides us with a unique glimpse into her methods of production. For instance, the Editorial Sur version of Joyce’s Exiles was not simply another Spanish-language translation produced for Latin American readers, it was the “primera y única traducción española autorizada por el autor” (first and only Spanish translation authorized by the author). In a similar vein, Ocampo’s Editorial Sur published four of Woolf’s works, all of which were the “primera y única traducción autorizada por la autora” (first and only [translations] authorized by the author): Un cuarto propio (1936), Orlando (1937), Al faro (1938), and Tres Guineas (1941). In fact, these were the first Spanish-language translations of Woolf’s work in the world, which highlights Ocampo’s monumental efforts in bringing global literary trends to Latin America.
These extant receipts also demonstrate the fact that Ocampo was part of a much larger literary community. While critics frequently cite the ways in which Ocampo aided Beach and Monnier, as well as many other individuals that formed a part of this intellectual Parisian community, there is little written about the ways in which these booksellers impacted Ocampo, specifically in terms of her feminist thought and her publishing ventures. Examining this type of archival material, therefore, points to one of the potential ways that Ocampo selected books to produce and market within her own publishing house. That is to say, as an active participant in Beach’s vibrant network of authors and artists, Ocampo gained vital insight into emerging literary trends and the most promising writers in Europe. She then used this insight to help inform her purchasing decisions, which would impact not only her own bookshelves, but also those of the many readers of Sur throughout Latin America. In a sense, Ocampo handpicked many books from Beach’s catalogues to bring to Argentina and, in the process, provided her porteño reading public with a global literary experience that was unique for its time.
I would like to thank Mané Lagos and Joshua Kotin for their feedback on earlier drafts of this paper; Martina López and all of the staff at the Centro de Documentación UNESCO Villa Ocampo for their help with Ocampo’s extant personal library; Michael Winship for his input on deciphering invoices; and Stephen Ferguson, Gabriel Swift, and the staff of Princeton University’s Department of Special Collections for their research assistance with the Sylvia Beach papers.
 Victoria Ocampo, Testimonios. Segunda serie (1937–1940) (Buenos Aires: Editorial Sur, 1941), 282. “Virginia Woolf en mi recuerdo” originally appeared in Sur 79 (1941): 108–14. Ocampo frequently sent Woolf flowers and this statement is in response to one of the many bouquets that she received from her Argentine friend: “claro que me gusta mirar estas rosas, tenerlas en mi cuarto; a usted le consta. Pero me voy a enojar si sigue mandándomelas” (of course I like looking at these roses, having them in my room; you know this. But I am going to get mad if you keep sending them to me) (cited in Ocampo, Testimonios. Segunda serie, 282). While Woolf’s financial advice might be construed as condescending, I would argue, as Beatriz Sarlo has, that it more accurately speaks to Ocampo and Woolf’s differing cultural views, or “malentendidos” (misunderstandings) (Beatriz Sarlo, “Victoria Ocampo o el amor de la cita,” in La máquina cultural. Maestras, traductores y vanguardistas [Buenos Aires: Ariel, 1998], 93–195, 156). To that end, some critics have even described Woolf’s awareness of Latin America as vague and at times exoticized (see Fiona G. Parrott, “Friendship, Letters and Butterflies: Victoria Ocampo and Virginia Woolf,” STAR: Scotland’s Transatlantic Relations Project Archive [April 2004]: 1–7 and Laura María Lojo Rodríguez, “‘A gaping mouth, but no words’: Virginia Woolf Enters the Land of Butterflies,” in The Reception of Virginia Woolf in Europe, ed. Mary Ann Caws and Nicola Luckhurst, [London: Continuum, 2008], 218–47). However, Patricia Novillo-Corvalán has proved Woolf’s detailed knowledge of Argentina’s political and economic environment during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries through a series of extant research notes (Modernism and Latin America: Transnational Networks of Literary Exchange [New York: Routledge, 2018]). In a similar vein, others have gone so far as to suggest that Ocampo plays off of Woolf’s feigned ignorance to “burlarse de ella” (make fun of her) and reposition her marginalized state as a South American female intellectual (María Celia Vázquez, “Cosmopolitismo, excentricidad y mezcla en los ensayos de Victoria Ocampo,” Artes del ensayo. Revista internacional sobre el ensayo hispánico 2 : 89–100, 96). Viewed in these contexts, Woolf’s statement loses its patronizing air and instead reflects the divergent social and cultural norms that define these two individuals.
 John King’s foundational study uses these dates to demarcate the period of regular publication of Ocampo’s literary journal Sur (see Sur: A Study of the Argentine Literary Journal and its Role in the Development of a Culture, 1931–1970 [New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986]). The journal was still published after 1970, but it was much more sporadic and irregular. Ocampo’s Editorial Sur publishing house maps onto a similar timeline. The first books were published in 1933 and titles continued to be released until a few years after Ocampo’s death in 1979 (1933–1985). There was a revival of the Editorial Sur in 2005, and a number of works have been published under its name since then.
 She opened her shop at 7 rue de l’Odéon in Paris.
 Beach’s bookshop was located originally on 8 rue Dupuytren, but moved to 12 rue de l’Odéon, directly across the street from Monnier’s shop, in 1922.
 Sylvia Beach, Shakespeare and Company (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1991), 15–16.
 Her last visit to Europe was for her honeymoon with Monaco Estrada. The two left Argentina for Europe in December 1912 and did not return until the Spring of 1913.
 Doris Meyer, Victoria Ocampo: Against the Wind and the Tide (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1979), 101.
 Manuscript materials, such as letters, are another means of sharing ideas yet, for the purposes of this paper I will focus solely on the role of print materials in circulating information around the globe.
 Sydney Shep, “Books in Global Perspectives,” in The Cambridge Companion to the History of the Book, ed. Leslie Howsam, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014), 53–70, 53.
 Isabel Hofmeyr, The Portable Bunyan: A Transnational History of The Pilgrim's Progress (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004), 2–3.
 After stocking her shelves for the first time, Beach did not travel to foreign bookshops to acquire her titles. In fact, Shakespeare and Company’s surviving book order forms in the Sylvia Beach Papers at Princeton University reveal that she purchased the majority of her foreign-language titles directly from their publishers.
 B. Venkat Mani, Recoding World Literature: Libraries, Print Culture, and Germany’s Pact with Books (New York: Fordham University Press, 2017), 10.
 Mani’s primary focus is books and their movement in relation to libraries, but his arguments also apply to publishers, booksellers, translators, or any other agents that aid in the circulation and movement of literatures.
 Beach’s biography even implies that if a lending-library member were “broke,” he or she would not have to pay anything to receive a book, simply show his or her identity card: “Each member had a small identity card, which he was supposed to produce when claiming the deposit at the expiration of his subscription, or when he was broke. This membership was as good as a passport, so I was told” (Shakespeare and Company, 21–22).
 Noel Riley Fitch, Sylvia Beach and the Lost Generation: A History of Literary Paris in the Twenties and Thirties (New York: Norton, 1985), 118.
 For more information on Shakespeare and Company’s card catalogue and entire lending library, see Beach, Shakespeare and Company; Fitch, Sylvia Beach and the Lost Generation; Kotin, “Shakespeare and Company: Publisher”; and Princeton’s Center for Digital Humanities “Shakespeare and Company Project” (https://shakespeareandco.princeton.edu/).
 Sylvia Beach Papers, Box 170, Folder 8. Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library.
 Ocampo had a deep appreciation for and love of photography. In fact, she is known to have always surrounded herself with photographs of her family, friends, and most admired writers: “. . . de mis amigos tengo montones. Les pedía que me dieran como recuerdo, los tomaba yo misma, hasta les hice tomar fotos especialmente para mí, porque no me gustaban las que tenían” (I have a lot [of photographs] of my friends. I ask them to give them to me as mementos, I take them myself, I even make them take special photos just for me, because I don’t like the ones that they have of themselves) (cited in Sara Facio, Victoria Ocampo en fotografías [Buenos Aires: La Azotea, 2006], 38). Nicolás Schonfled (1901–1977) photographed Ocampo on various occasions, and she remembers his work fondly: “Estas poses de Schonfeld me parecen buenas” (Schonfeld’s poses seem very good to me) (Facio, Ocampo, 38).
 Shakespeare and Company Receipts. November 13, 1934–January 13, 1935. Sylvia Beach Papers, Box 29 Folder 10. Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library.
 Sylvia Beach, “Los suscriptores de ‘Ulises’” (The Subscribers to Ulysses), Sur 184 (1950): 10–15. The essay was originally written in English and translated into Spanish by María Elena Walsh.
 Ocampo also included fragments of this work’s translation by Antonio Jiménez Fraud in Sur prior to its full-length publication in 1937: “Una escena de Desterrados” (A Scene from Exiles), Sur 35 (1937): 68–86.
 Editorial Sur Publicity Flyer for Desterrados (Exiles). Fundación Sur, Centro de Documentación UNESCO Villa Ocampo
 Ocampo was approached by Antonio Marichalar to translate Ulysses into Spanish for the first time in early 1931. This translation project never materialized (see Carmelo Medina Casado, “The Earliest Translations of Joyce’s Ulysses,” Papers on Joyce 16 : 81–91). However, Ocampo did manage to publish other works by Joyce with the Editorial Sur: Esteban, el héroe (1960) and La noche de Ulises (1961). She also included eleven original essays about Joyce’s work in her literary journal between the years 1932 and 1959.
 Kotin describes how Beach’s Shakespeare and Company “was whatever Joyce needed it to be: bank, post office, reference desk, literary agency, advertising agency, delivery service, law office, hideout” (Joshua Kotin, “Shakespeare and Company: Publisher,” in Publishing Modernist Fiction and Poetry, ed. Lise Jaillant, [Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press, 2019], 109–34, 109). That said, Joyce’s extreme reliance on Beach for everything from editing and publishing to marketing and selling caused her to feel “exploited” and led to the ultimate deterioration of their relationship (Kotin, “Shakespeare and Company,” 131).
 Joseph Brooker, “Reception History,” in The Cambridge Companion to Ulysses, ed. Sean Latham, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016), 19–32, 22.
 Kevin Birmingham, The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce’s Ulysses (New York: Penguin, 2014), 274. For a detailed account of censorship issues and Roth’s piracy controversy in Two Worlds Monthly, see Birmingham, The Most Dangerous Book and Beach, “Los suscriptores de ‘Ulises’,” Sur 184 (1950): 10–15.
 Aldous Huxley introduced Woolf and Ocampo to one another at a Man Ray photography exhibit in London in 1934.
 In addition to her articles and essays in Sur, Ocampo also wrote several articles for the Argentine periodical La Nación about Virginia Woolf much later in her life such as “Reencuentro con Virginia Woolf” (Reencounter with Virginia Woolf) (August 1973). There are also numerous pieces in Sur about Woolf and her writings by individuals other than Ocampo, including Vita Sackville-West, “Virginia Woolf y Orlando,” Sur 247 (1957): 64–69; Raymond Mortimer, “Virginia Woolf,” Sur 153 (1947): 176–82; Jaime Rest, “Virginia Woolf y la función crítica,.” Sur 238 (1956): 45–59; Vera Macarov, “Tres estudios críticos sobre Virginia Woolf,” Sur 141 (1946): 99–102; and Hugo Manning, “Virginia Woolf: Amazona entre las sombras,” Sur 43 (1941): 43–48.
 Borges also translated Woolf’s Orlando for the Editorial Sur, which was published in June 1937. For more on Borges’s translations with Editorial Sur and his theorization of the art of translation, see Efraín Kristal, Invisible Work: Borges and Translation (Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 2002), and Sergio Gabriel Waisman, Borges and Translation: The Irreverence of the Periphery (Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 2005).
 In addition to the monthly serial-style publication of Woolf’s Un cuarto propio (A Room of One’s Own) in her journal Sur, Ocampo also published the entire work with her Editorial Sur in July 1936. See Sur 15 (1935): 7–29; Sur 16 (1936): 26–58; Sur 17 (1936): 41–61; Sur 18 (1936): 46–81; and Un cuarto propio, trans. Jorge Luis Borges, (Buenos Aires: Editorial Sur, 1936).
 Victoria Ocampo, “Virginia Woolf, Orlando y Cía,” Sur 35 (1937): 10–67.
 Virginia Woolf, “Pasa el tiempo,” Sur 43 (1938): 7–30.
 See Patricia Willson, La constelación del Sur: Traductores y traducciones en la literatura argentina del siglo XX (Buenos Aires: Siglo Veintuno, 2004) and “Página impar: El lugar del traductor en el auge de la industria editorial,” in Historia crítica de la literatura argentina 9, ed. Sylvia Saítta (Buenos Aires: Emecé, 2014), 123–42.
 The period from roughly 1930 to 1955 is referred to as the Golden Age of publishing in Argentina and when we see the largest expansion—and concentration—of book production in Buenos Aires. For more on this topic see Domingo Buonocore, Libreros, editores e impresores de Buenos Aires: Esbozo para una historia del libro argentino (Buenos Aires: Bowker Editores, 1974); José Luis de Diego, Editores y políticas editoriales en Argentina (1880–2010) (Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2014); Leandro de Sagastizábal, La edición de libros en la Argentina. Una empresa de cultura (Buenos Ares: Editorial Universidad de Buenos Aires, 1995); Guido Herzovich, “Towards a Modern Synergy: Cultural Massification and the Compartmentalization of Books and Publics in Argentina and Brazil (1920–1960),” Revista Hispánica Moderna 71, no. 2 (2018): 163–77; and Jorge B. Rivera, “El auge de la industria cultural (1930–1955),” in El escritor y la industria cultural (Buenos Aires: Centro Editor de América Latina, 1981), 94–127.
 The fact that this second receipt divides the works into two groups—books “supplied in Paris” and books “sent to boat at Southampton”—alludes to the fact that Ocampo most likely placed an order with Beach, which was partially filled while she was in the store, then completed and sent to her departing ship. This probable order fulfillment system explains why Beach would owe Ocampo money for an out-of-print book.
 Shakespeare and Company Receipts. January 23, 1935. Sylvia Beach Papers, Box 58, Folder 8. Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library.
 Even within the pages of Ocampo’s Sur the only reference to Richardson and her literary contributions is within an essay about Joyce’s Ulysses: “La técnica de este ‘monólogo silente’ no es nueva. Es, cuando menos, tan antigua como el mismo Shakespeare. Wyndham Lewis la utilizó en Pickwick, Dorothy Richardson se le aproxima al respecto, pero Joyce alega haber tomado la idea de la novela de Dujardin Les lauriers sont coupés, curiosidad literaria por cuanto fue la precursora del método técnico que informa tanto el mérito de Ulises” (The technique of this “silent monologue” is nothing new. It is, at least, as old as Shakespeare himself. Wyndham Lewis used it in Pickwick, Dorothy Richardson approaches it, but Joyce alleges to have taken the idea from Dujardin’s novel, Les lauriers sont coupés, a literary curiosity because it was the precursor of the technical method that informed so much of the merit of Ulysses) (Charles Duff, “Ulises y otros trabajos de James Joyce,” Sur 5 : 86–127, 102).
 Kristin Bluemel, Experimenting on the Borders of Modernism: Dorothy Richardson’s Pilgrimage (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1997), 2.
 Virginia Woolf, “Romance and the Heart,” The Nation and the Athenaeum (May 13, 1923): 229.
 Virginia Woolf, “The Tunnel,” in The Essays of Virginia Woolf, vol. 3, ed. Andrew McNeillie, (Boston: Harcourt Brace, 1988), 10–12, 12.
 For more on the feminist ties between Ocampo and Woolf, see Gayle Rogers, “Virginia Woolf and the Spanish Civil War: Three Guineas, Victoria Ocampo and International Feminism,” in Modernism and the New Spain: Britain, Cosmopolitan Europe, and Literary History (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012): 125–62 and Alicia Salomone, “Virginia Woolf en los Testimonios de Victoria Ocampo: Tensiones entre mistad y mistadre,” Revista chilena de mistadre 69 (2006): 69–87.
 Victoria Ocampo, “Historia de mi mistad con los libros ingleses,” Sur 73 (1940): 7–33, 23.
 There are also numerous essays, book reviews, poetic translations, and critical studies dedicated to Shakespeare in Sur outside of this special issue.
 Victoria Ocampo, “Shakespeare, or What You Will,” Sur 289–90 (1964): 3–17, 4.
 Sur 113–14 (1944): 1–285.
 See Literatura contemporánea, ed. Francis Brown, (Buenos Aires: Editorial Sur, 1957).
 There are two different extant editions of this work in Ocampo’s library: one published in New York with Harcourt, Brace & Co. (1932) and one published in London at the Hogarth Press (1932). In light of the additional receipt from her second purchase, it is clear that the copy that Ocampo acquired from this specific trip came directly from the Hogarth Press.
 Ocampo had two copies of this work in her library, most likely the first edition (1911) and second edition (1919).
 While this copy cannot be the one that Ocampo first purchased from Shakespeare and Company given its later publication date, its presence in her library points to the fact that she did in fact own this title and potentially gave away the earlier edition and replaced it with this 1941 edition.
 Victoria Ocampo, “De cartilla al libro,” in Testimonios. Sexta Serie (1957–1962) (Buenos Aires: Editorial Sur, 1963), 134–48, 135. Ocampo originally delivered these words as part of a speech to the Cámara del libro on June 15, 1959.
 Alexander Stille, “A Fight to Preserve a Literary Legacy,” New York Times, Dec. 21, 2002.
 Ocampo gave this lecture for the “Exposition of English Books” in Buenos Aires. This speech was later transcribed and printed in her literary journal.
 Andrew Thacker, “‘A True Magic Chamber’: The Public Face of the Modernist Bookshop,” Modernist Cultures 11, no. 3 (2016): 429–51, 434.
 Lawrence S. Rainey, Institutions of Modernism: Literary Elites and Public Culture (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1998), 44.
 See Rainey, Institutions of Modernism and Thacker, “A True Magic Chamber,” along with Alissa G. Karl, Modernism and the Marketplace: Literary Culture and Consumer Capitalism in Rhys, Woolf, Stein, and Nella Larsen (Hoboken, NJ: Taylor and Francis, 2013) and “Modernism’s Risky Business: Gertrude Stein, Sylvia Beach, and American Consumer Capitalism,” American Literature: A Journal of Literary History, Criticism, and Bibliography 80, no. 1 (2008): 83–109.
 Alongside the previously mentioned articles that pertain to Woolf’s works, Ocampo also penned a number of feminist essays that were published in Sur during the 1930s and 1940s, many of which have specific references to Monnier, Beach, and de Beauvoir (Ocampo, “El león y el mosquito,” Sur 176 : 85–87). One of the most notable of these essays, “La mujer y su expresión” (Woman and Her Expression) (Sur 11 : 25–40), radically discusses the position of women in the modern world. Here she mentions how she is most interested in the written word since she believes that “las mujeres tienen ahí un dominio por conquistar y una cosecha en ciernes” (here women have the power to dominate and a crop in the making) (Ocampo, “La mujer y su expresión,” 35–36). Moreover, she signals the importance of “literatura mundial” (world literature) in helping to advance and enrich the current situation for women (Ocampo, “La mujer y su expresión,” 36). To that end, for instance, she notes the importance of Woolf’s writings. This lecture was first broadcast on the radio throughout Spain and Argentina in July of 1935 then transcribed and published in Ocampo’s literary journal. It was then reprinted and sold as a stand-alone essay with Editorial Sur in 1936.
 James Joyce, Desterrados, trans. Alberto Jiménez Fraud, (Buenos Aires: Editorial Sur, 1937), 239. There are two earlier Spanish-language translations of Joyce’s work: El artista adolecente, trans. Dámaso Alonso (Madrid: Biblioteca Nueva, 1926) and fragments of Ulysses (Antonio Marichalar, “James Joyce en su laberinto,” Revista de Occidente 6, no. 17 : 177–202 and Jorge Luis Borges, “La última hoja de Ulises,” Proa 2, no. 6 : 8–9).
 Editorial Sur also published the first Spanish-language edition of Diario de una escritora (A Writer’s Diary), trans. José M. Coco Ferraris, (Buenos Aires: Editorial Sur, 1954), but this was a posthumous work compiled by Leonard Woolf.