Oliverio Girondo (1890-1967)
Through a generous donation of Robert O'Grady, the Department of Special Collections has obtained an extremely interesting collection of Oliverio Girondo's writings. While the first manuscript poem, "Alta noche," was published in his Obra completa, the remaining thirteen works are undated, and believed to be unpublished. Most deal with the theme of politics and modernity, and similarities in theme indicate that they may be related to Nuestra actitud ante el desastre, a series of articles that first appeared in La nación.
Oliverio Girondo's life exemplifies the spirit of the avant-garde during the 1920s. Born into wealth, as a young man Girondo agreed to attend law school in exchange for summer trips to Europe. He used these vacations as an opportunity to befriend the French symbolist poets and meet the Spanish avant-garde, quickly developing a friendship with the ever popular Ramón Gómez de la Serna. Girondo's first book of poetry was even published in France in 1922 and not in his native Argentina. Titled Veinte poemas para ser leídos en el travía, it is often grouped with his Calcomanías, and together they are informally known as his "travel" poetry. The fame earned from these two works encouraged him to continue his intercontinental trips with the purpose of promoting intellectual exchange between the far-flung members of the avant-garde.
To further this effort in his own country, Girondo helped found the literary magazine Martín Fierro. He wrote the publication's manifesto, calling for the practice of cultural cannibalism in order to develop a distinctive, authentic South American voice. The 1932 publication of Espantapájaros, al alcance de todos, only increased his popularity, and soon he began writing a series of politically themed articles for La nación that would later be published as Nuestra actitud ante el desastre. In 1943 Girondo married his longtime friend, the American poet Norah Lange. His last major work of poetry, En la masmédula, was published in 1953. Original editions of his poetry are often illustrated by the author, and reflect his surrealist tendencies.
The Oliverio Girondo manuscript materials are among the most interesting collections held by Notre Dame. The first manuscript poem, "Alta noche," can be found in his book, En la masmédula, and is dated December, 1961. The remaining thirteen works are undated and almost all have editorial corrections made by the author, revealing his progress as he works toward a finished product. Most deal with the theme of politics and modernity, and while they appear to be written in verse, they often have the same essay feel of Espantapájaros. In addition, "Diario" (MSH/SCL 5005-11) and "Diálogo sobre el teleficismo" (MSH/SCL 5005-12) are also concerned with these themes, but are clearly personal notes made by the author. These works are not found in this exact form in his Obra completa, however similarities in theme indicate that they may be related to Nuestra actitud ante el desastre.
Aira, César. "Girondo, Oliverio." Diccionario de autores latinoamericanos. Buenos Aires, Emecé, 2001. p.241-242. (Hesburgh Library, Reference: PQ 7081.3 .A35 2001)
Girondo, Oliverio. Obra completa. Ed. RaÏl Antelo. Barcelona: Galaxia Gutenberg, 1999. (Hesburgh Library, General Collection: PQ 7797 .G535 1999)
Stern, Emily G. "Oliverio Girondo." Modern Spanish American Poets. Ed. María A. Salgado. Detroit: Gale Group, 2003. p. 117-124.(Hesburgh Library, Reference: PQ 7082 .P7 M53 2003)
|< Macedonio Fernández||| Author Index |||Ricardo Güiraldes >|