Ramón and the avant-garde.


He is Ramón Gómez de la Serna. This photograph shows his desk, his inspiring space. I cannot stop looking at it.

Ramón is one of the greatest writers, I would say artists in the world.

His work has been a true inspiration for many artists.

I am not going to write here his biography or list his work, I would like to share with you what inspire me most of him.

First of all, his positivism. It has been said that in the first quarter of twentieth century, there were two constants in the avant garde: experimentation and joy. The idea was about breaking with the past in terms of tradition, seriousness and bourgeoisie…

The sense of humour was a constant… And Ramón did his best of it. He played with words creating funny puzzles in his Greguerías and the humoristic style was implicit in every single work of him.

I specially enjoy his playful style. Like a child, he was not shy of mixing genres, being naive… as a part to present his enormous and hilarious irony. One of my favourite works of him, was his  cartas a las golondrinas (letters to the swallows). He used to write about the quotidian, casual things around him. He humanised animals, things building a whole universe of magical elements. He could see inspiration in the most common and ordinary thing. As Surrealists did, he went closer and closer in a object until he could see wonders when common people only could see a bird or a window.

Year after year, he wrote a letter to the swallows.

In Madrid, as in other towns and cities in Spain, the arrival of swallows announce the return of Spring.

In Carta del décimo año (Letter of the tenth year):

-¿Y qué has estado haciendo toda la tarde?

-Leyendo golondrinas. Para eso tengo vacaciones.