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Hermann von Keyserling, The Correspondence of Victoria Ocampo, Count Keyserling and C G Jung,
Prinz Christianweg 4, Darmstadt
22 July 1936
I’ve read your colloquium on Victoria with great interest.
The general situation you depict is admirably sketched and much of its minutiae – features and details – are proof of very fine observations and a keen judgment.
But what interests me most is what is purely Argentine in said colloquium.
There’s much in it of traditional macana [sham], much of the je m ‘en fiche [l don’t care] of Buenos Aires, much, very much of the extraordinary feeling of inferiority that all Argentinians – without any reason – suffer from.
All in all, your judgment is sound.
But there lack – in my opinion the characteristics that define the citizen of the world that, as you yourself say, your compatriot is so earnestly.
Perhaps I can render you a service if I complete somewhat your dialogue.
Because of her personal knowledge of most of the important writers of our time, Victoria truly belongs more to the world than to Argentina.
And I believe that she has opened herself more to several European writers than to those closest to her in the southernmost part of the world.
(This is another indication of her essential shyness that you define so well.)
And because of all this, I believe that what will remain of Victoria is something much more important than what South American friends and admirers believe.
Of the great initiators of movements – political, social, and religious – it is known that their true graceful influence is utterly different from what they intend and from what their contemporaries see.
The same is true with women of great import.
In the end, it does not matter what they are or believe themselves to be or what they seem or even do – what matters is their evocative power.
And I believe that there does not exist, in this moment of History, a more evocative woman than Victoria.
She is not inspiring she can’t be that because she is too self-absorbed.
But there is no doubt that this woman has evoked more – without the majority of her objects being aware of it – than almost all of the women that are spoken of.
That is because Victoria is the most powerfully telluric woman alive.
Because what matters in her is the telluric root that looks or pulls towards the earth – and that is also true of her very keen intelligence.
Her spontaneity – also genuine – is in service of her tellurism.
I believe that it is precisely for that reason that she has evoked in others so many spiritual forces.
I don’t believe there exists a single man of genius who has heard her and is not indebted to her in this sense.
Without her, I would never have found the truths and visions that would result in South-American ~Meditations; without her, I would neither have been able to write Of the Art of Life, because Victoria (contrary to what you say) is the one who least masters this art; when all is said and done, she is a grande gacheuse Ucilljoy] as are all independent women with great telluric force.
Without her, I would not have arrived to the final synthesis of myself.
I believe that this fact alone is more important than everything that Victoria has written and expressed in Argentina.
But this concerns not only myself: Ortega also owes much to her, and Drieu la Rochelle, and many, many others she met in Paris.
Few realize this, and it is possible that Victoria herself does not know this or does not want to admit it, because this influence has nothing to do with her conscious aspirations and whatever can satisfy her superficial vanity – but there is no doubt that in this and in nothing else lies Victoria Ocampo’s immortal value.
And that is much.
Wishing you much success,
Hermann von Keyserling, The Correspondence of Victoria Ocampo, Count Keyserling and C G Jung, Page 131-132