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Ramón Gómez de la Serna Papers

What's online?

The entire collection is scanned and online.

What’s in the entire collection?

The Ramón Gómez de la Serna Papers consist of approximately 60,000 mostly handwritten notes and manuscripts, which represent the core of the collection. They also include photographs, clippings, and annotated first editions of his published writings. While the collection spans the date ranges between 1906-1967, the bulk of the material dates between 1936-1963.

The manuscripts cover all genres of his literary output such as greguerías, novels, biographies, art books, humoristic pieces, short stories, and dramas. The majority of the documents are undated. They can be found under the “Writings” series, subdivided by the genre, and then by the individual work itself. Ramón also used an extensive amount of clippings from newspapers, magazines, and books for artistic inspiration and research on his projects.

Furthermore, the papers feature photographs and personal documents, such as posthumous clippings by Luisa Sofovich on Ramón’s life and work, educational and legal certificates, as well as address books. Please note that most of the material is sparsely dated, therefore date-ranges could often not be established for folder contents.

About Ramón Gómez de la Serna

Ramón Gómez de la Serna Puig was born in 1888 in Madrid, Spain, and died in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1963. His father, Javier Gomez de la Serna and Laguna, was a lawyer, and his mother, Josefa Puig Coronado, was the niece of the romantic Spanish poet Carolina Coronado. Ramón studied law as well but never worked professionally in the field. In 1905, he published his first work entitled “Entrando en fuego.” In 1908, with the support of his father, he founded the literary journal Prometeo. In addition, Ramón wrote for Spanish newspapers such as El Sol, La Voz, and Revista de Occidente, where he was noted for his original character, leading an imaginative and sometimes nihilistic rebellion against a society that he perceived as culturally stagnant. He launched a literary circle in the Café Pombo in Madrid in 1912, where he gathered with other artists and intellectuals such as Tomás Borrás, Manuel Abril, José Bergamín, and José Gutiérrez Solana. At the age of twenty-one, he began an enduring and influential relationship with the early feminist writer Carmen de Burgos, who was twenty years his senior. This relationship inspired the novel La viuda blanca y negra [The Black and White Widow] (1921).

As early as 1910, Ramón began experimenting with a new literary art form he called the “greguería.” Ramón himself defined the greguería as a mathematical equation: Greguería = Humor + Metaphor. Others have characterized it as a brief, humorous insight expressed in metaphoric language. With his innovative and iconoclastic approach, Ramón had a strong influence on the Spanish avant-garde, the surrealist movement, and on the later 1927 generation of poets and writers.

In the early 1930s, Ramón developed an interest in visiting South America, and an invitation to give some lectures in Argentina provided him with this opportunity. During his first trip, he met his later wife, Luisa Sofovich, in Buenos Aires. Back in the Spain, the outbreak of the Civil War in 1936 surprised him in Madrid. Soon after, he decided to leave for self-exile to Argentina where he remained until his death.

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