Buenos Aires, 1920 - París , 2014

Bernárdez studied Philosophy at the UBA and worked as a translator from a very young age. In December 1952 she travelled to Paris, where she married Julio Cortázar, whom she had met in Buenos Aires in 1948. Bernárdez would live in Paris from then on. She worked as a translator for UNESCO for many years, at the Paris headquarters and numerous international conferences, and translated literary works for major authors such as Flaubert, Valéry, Cocteau, Sartre, Camus and Faulkner, among others. Starting in 1968, the year the couple separated, she continued to live independently, dividing her time between Paris, Buenos Aires and Mallorca. Bernárdez always stayed close to Cortázar and assisted him during the final years of his life, when he named her his literary executor and universal heiress. In these capacities, starting in 1984, she took charge of Cortázar’s unpublished works, compiled his correspondence, organised his photographic archives, and supervised editions and adaptations. She is the author of poems, short stories and chronicles, many of which are included in El libro de Aurora.

  •  “There will only be one thing in common sometime, your crying when you read this and mine now as I write it.” Julio Cortázar, loose verses dated April 1968
  • “It was difficult to discover who was more intelligent and more cultured, which of the two had read more, better and to greater advantage (...). I was always sure that Aurora did not just translate – she did it marvellously – but also wrote, but she refrained from publishing due to a heroic decision: so there would only be one writer in the family." Mario Vargas Llosa, El País
  • “Why do I think she was unique and unrepeatable? I could say Galician sweetness, permanent good humour, infinite patience and tolerance, coupled with firmness of character and quick, profound intelligence." Chichita Calvino
  •  “Aurora Bernárdez was like paper, fragile, yet incredibly powerful, possessing an implacable memory. That was her translator’s spirit: not a word or fact out of place. She said she was made ‘of paper’, but she was also made of iron.”  Juan Cruz, El País

Bibliography

“I think I always had a vocation for darkness and secrecy.” With this sentence, written in a notebook toward the end of her life, Aurora Bernárdez summed up her unique bond with literature. To follow this vocation, which she never betrayed, Bernárdez limited her public appearances to the strictly necessary and kept the exercise of her own creations to herself. El libro de Aurora brings together poems, short stories and notes from a woman who was a brilliant translator, the first reader of Julio Cortázar’s works and his literary executor...

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Biography / Memoirs

Biography / Memoirs

“I think I always had a vocation for darkness and secrecy.”

With this sentence, written in a notebook toward the end of her life, Aurora Bernárdez summed up her unique bond with literature. To follow this vocation, which she never betrayed, Bernárdez limited her public appearances to the strictly necessary and kept the exercise of her own creations to herself. El libro de Aurora brings together poems, short stories and notes from a woman who was a brilliant translator, the first reader of Julio Cortázar’s works and his literary executor. It also contains the extensive transcription of the only interview she gave. These previously unpublished texts reflect Bernárdez’s intelligence, delicacy, talent and humour. They paint a picture of a 20th-century woman, a lady of letters who went to Paris for love, whose friendship with her publishers brings her back to us now in this book.

'Aurora Bernárdez escapa del silencio', Juan Cruz, El País, 15/06/2017

'La autora oculta tras un cronopio', Matías Néspolo, El Mundo, 3/08/2017

Reseña por Hugo Beccacece, La Nación, 27/08/2017