Ramón Gómez de la Serna

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Ramón Gómez de la Serna, C.E.1931

Ramón Gómez de la Serna (C.E.1888 – 1963), Spanish writer.

Quotes by Ramón Gómez de la Serna:

  • The Geniuses are those who say a long time ago what will be said a long time later.[1]
  • The cat signs each of his thoughts with the tail.[2]
  • The unforgettable and eternal Naples, which sometimes takes on a mortal appearance and goes into ruin only to further enhance its survival, the imperishable enchantment, the inexhaustible voluptuousness that melts the heart with a melancholy and ardent pleasure , with a supreme "something" which is not the blue gulf, nor its transparent caves, nor its Don Juan-like volcano, nor its Pompeii, which laughs and lives in perpetual idyll in its ruins, but something so particular and so its own , which brings to life in the hidden trattoria the having and the sky, the angelic and the human, what has been and what will then be, and even more, the most poignant not wanting to die that I have ever known.[3]
  • Austere painting, Castile painting, concentration painting, painting full of interior light, where space exists for space's sake, as art exists for art's sake. [...] Velázquez is the index of the scale of Spain at the moment in which the scale rose higher and in its plates was the gold of the Golden Age. It is the perfect real and gold-bearing plastic equation.[4]

1,001 greguería:


Author's Prologue:

  • The greguerías have something of the riddle, avoid the appearance of the ful and should never be jokes or jokes, as much as it may seem. They don't have to look like anything that has already been said. They are not reflections nor do they have anything to do with them, since we must be wary of the reflections, which are like those snowballs that make the bad brats by hiding a stone in the snow. The greguería is not even aphoristic. The aphorism is emphatic and sententious. I don't practice it. (p. 11)
  • Hmorism + metaphor = greguería (p. 11)
  • Love arises from the sudden desire to make eternal what is fleeting. (p. 19)
  • If one knows himself too much, he stops saying goodbye. (p. 19)
  • The dream is a deposit of lost items. (p. 19)
  • In the telephone list we are all microscopic beings. (p. 20)
  • The melon is a piggy bank of sunsets. (p. 20)
  • The tram takes advantage of the curves to cry. (p. 21)
  • The rainbow is the ribbon that nature puts on after washing its head. (p. 22)
  • The lizard is the pin of the walls. (p. 22)
  • The dust is full of old and forgotten sneezing. (p. 23)
  • The pencil writes shadows of words. (p. 24)
  • Necklace of pearls: rosary of sin. (p. 24)
  • medicine offers to cure in a hundred years those who are dying now. (p. 25)
  • The greenhouses are model prisons for plants. (p. 25)
  • A second is a miniature century. (p. 25)
  • The comet is a star with loose hair. (p. 26)
  • The moon lays an egg in telescopes that watch it for a long time. (p. 27)
  • Venice is the place where violins sail. (p. 28)
  • Dun: A trunk rolls down the stairs of the sky. (p. 28)
  • The ruined Colosseum is like a broken cup of breakfast of the centuries. (p. 28)
  • Russing is to loudly absorb soup of dreams. (p. 29)
  • The ghianda are born with the egg holder. (p. 31)
  • The notes of the pentagram seems to go to the funeral. (p. 31)
  • Guitar: woman with four hips. (p. 31)
  • The first rattle and the last sprinkler are too similar. (p. 31)
  • The olive is the mirror of the dawn. (p. 32)
  • If boredom could be exploited, we would have the most powerful source of energy. (p. 32)
  • The candele dripping cameoes. (p. 32)
  • The rainbow is the scarf of the sky. (p. 33)
  • The vongole are the nacchere of the sea. (p. 33)
  • Water has no memory, which is why it is so clear. (p. 34)
  • Bar poor: one olive and many snacks. (p. 34)
  • The moon is a cat's eye; the great guercio cat of the night. (p. 34)
  • Give me a friendship and I will lift the world up to you.[5] (p. 34)
  • What bothers a chest the most is to cut a lemon. (p. 34)
  • The ant is a cramp of the earth. (p. 36)
  • The proud say "vertebral column" and the modest "backbone". (p. 36)
  • The pipa does not burn: so if humanity made the houses with pipe wood the firefighters would be useless. (pp. 36-37)
  • In the aceto there is all the bad mood of the wine. (p. 38)
  • The lion would give half his life for a comb. (p. 38)
  • The beard comes from the ancestors. It's always that of a great-grandmother. (p. 38)
  • The giraffe is a crane that eats grass. (p. 39)
  • The caffellatte is a soft drink mulatta. (p. 40)
Ramón Gómez de la Serna in C.E.1928
  • The lillà are the bluse of spring percale. (p. 40)
  • The teaspoon awakens the sleeping coffee that we had forgotten to take. (p. 40)
  • The ventagli fall: autumn of summer. (p. 41)
  • The scyan is the S head in the poem of the pond. (p. 41)
  • In the river all the mirrors of the past pass, drowned. (p. 41)
  • Our true and definitive property is the bone. (p. 41)
  • Oh, if there was a hour more in the day, an exceptional hour, a cheap hour: the twenty-fifth hour! We don't need this hour during which we would understand everything... (p. 43)
  • The tarma we kill leaves us with a stolen silk powder. (p. 43)
  • The most aristocratic trait of the bottle of champagne is that it does not allow the cap to be put back on. (p. 43)
  • The sea only sees traveling: he has never traveled. (p. 43)
  • At each shot, the cannon rerolls as if frightened by what he just did. (p. 43)
  • During tuning, the violins curl their mustaches. (p. 43)
  • On the first morning tram there is still the sleep of the previous day. (p. 45)
  • The American kernel is a fruit with a thimble. (p. 45)
  • The mappamondo we need the world with a couple of fried eggs. (p. 45)
  • How bitter it is to see the weather in the glasseshidra! It's like drinking a glass of desert. (p. 46)
  • The hat that runs away seems to have run away with all the ideas of the kind that runs after him. (p. 46)
  • The slippers are the only ones to sympathize with man. (p. 47)
  • Soda is water with hiccups. (p. 47)
  • The ice cream are so cheerful because they are like clown wigs. (p. 47)
  • There is in every closet a pair of socks that you never use, but that are seed of socks. (p. 48)
  • The worst thing about doctors is that they look at you as if you weren't yourself. (p. 49)
  • There are couples of marred who turn their backs while sleeping so as not to steal each other's ideal dreams. (p. 51)
  • The human ear always questions, because, if observed well, it has an interrogative form. (p. 52)
  • When you break through a pocket the peritonitis of the dress begins. (p. 53)
  • While writing the recipe, the doctor looks at us one last time to evaluate whether to prescribe a medicine of those dear ones or those at a good price. (p. 53)
  • That only was so thin that it looked like an early bill on the silver tray. (p. 53)
  • The [[lightning [lightning] are the toothpicks of the moon. (p. 53)
  • The memory does not die in it because of the things it does not give us back and feeds on, relying on our oblivion. (p. 54)
  • Often the moon feels clouds as if they were hats. (p. 55)
  • He operated his lighter like one who suicidaled elegantly. (p. 56)
  • The work is the truth of the lie, the cinema is the lie of the truth. (p. 56)
  • The lightning is an incollected corkscrew. (p. 58)
  • What gives the elderly the most pleasure is being able to say: "come back to fashion". (p. 58)
  • The difference between nymphs and sirens is that nymphs give sweet kisses and salty sirens. (p. 58)
  • On the sandpaper is the desert map. (p. 58)
  • The rondini put the sky in quotation marks. (p. 60)
  • The meridian marks the hours with the dagger that kills. (p. 61)
  • The cypress is a well that has become a tree. (p. 61)
  • On the zebra remained the shadow of the cage that brought her to earth on the first day of creation. (p. 65)
  • When a doctor attaches his ear to a sick person's chest, he has all the air of wanting to eavesdrop behind a closed door. He has the very indiscreet claim to listen to the confidences that one lung makes to the other. (p. 70)
  • Smoke: shawl of fire. (p. 70)
  • Is the kib a loan or a gift? (P. 70)
  • The phone is the alarm clock. (p. 74)
  • The spagocrow looks like a shot spy. (p. 74)
  • Slit of cocomero: moon of blood. (p. 75)
  • Day without newspapers: the murderer exhibitionist postpones the crime until the day after tomorrow. (p. 76)
  • The white sheet is a beautiful matter full of moonlight, a noble matter like silver, worthy of work. (p. 76)
  • Gàbbiani: anchors of the ships that travel the skies. (p. 76)
  • The 9 is the ear of numbers. (p. 78)
  • The gelsomini are the bridal zagare of the moon. (p. 78)
  • Reminiscence: ruminating memories. (p. 78)
  • Owl: feathered cat. (p. 79)
  • The newborn greets himself by giving his hand to his own foot. (p. 81)
  • The tragedy of the drop of water dripping at night into the sink anguishes the human heart more than anything else. (p. 84)
  • The ace of denarii should be changed to currencies. (p. 86)
  • The only one who really changes the face of the planet is those who modestly plow their own field. (p. 89)
  • The lime is the toothbrush of metals. (p. 89)
  • It always seems that the pavone has been stepped on his tail. (p. 89)
  • The applause are like ribs: a lot of bone and little to eat. (p. 91)
  • The trams tend to kidnap the lady who goes up, leaving her husband on foot. (p. 91)
  • The accounting is a person you almost never count on. (p. 92)
  • Wednesday: Long day by definition. (p. 92)
  • The absorbing paper falsifies our signature, but always the other way around. (p. 92)
  • The moon is full of suicidal clothes. (p. 93)
  • The jasmimas are the cutouts of the moon when she passes through the scissors of the tall trees. (p. 95)
  • No one can strangle a accordion. (p. 96)



The breasts from the window
He didn't want to show them up close, but since we men are so insistent about the proposals that he would let me see them from the window, in the evening, when I, who lived in front of me, had looked out to say good night.
How afraid that she would regret it! She would have been left to her own devices. It would have been enough for him to look at the angel who supported the sanctantiera, and the promise would be over.
With such doubts came the quiet hour that in the great restlessness was full of noises and ears. She knew which side of the room could be visible to me.


  • When the seni will flee from us, they will always leave us the seni of the race, the seni of the escape, vague siluettes of seni like smoke molds.
  • You are shrewd, round, white, with a delicate and clear complexion; how much consistency you have given to the sees and how many thousands of times I have resorted to you to detach the ticket of my fortune! (P. 30)
  • His sins, no one had ever touched them. They had had a perfect seriousness in his chest. They were destined to die inactive on the lone tree. (p. 33)
  • The term of an existence can be the cenobite contemplation of some seni, the contemplation of the hermit who takes a woman's sees in his hands and looks at them as if seeing in them all the lie of life, visible and obvious. (p. 34)
  • I saw nothing, and even though I saw a dangling breast, neither big nor small, worthy of representing the breasts in an eternal love.


  • hussars wear x-rays. (p. 11)
  • Leaving a button unbuttoned is a sign of frankness and generosity. (p. 12)
  • The navel is missing a button. (p. 12)
  • When a button is missing from our sleeve, we feel dishonored. (p. 12)
  • It's not enough for a button to fall for it. The worst is that growth of thread that stays in place. (p. 12)
  • At the time of the tunics, women suffered greatly, as buttons had not yet been invented. (p.13)
  • The one-point run of sock that you unfurl is the fastest run known. (p. 13)
  • On the terraces, hanging laundry weaves new relationships. (p. 14)
  • Socks placed to dry are like the shadow of the legs. (p. 14)
  • The compunction of genuflection is halved if we put a handkerchief below the knee. (p.16)
  • The silk handkerchief is the farewell of a caress. (p. 16)
  • Hearing the shirtmaker ask if we need socks too, our feet turn red. (p. 17)
  • The man who attaches a button to himself forgets to tie a knot in the thread and loses the button. (p. 18)
  • The woman cleans herself with a tiny handkerchief as well as great pains as well as great colds. (p. 105)
  • A woman's hand in the act of exploring the stocking, if it ever came unraveled, is transformed into the hand of an odalisque. (p. 108)
  • There are women whose main seduction consists in arranging the handkerchief that protrudes from the man's breast pocket in the shape of a flower. (p. 110)
  • The woman without socks is scary because she carries around her crazy legs without straitjackets. (p. 110)

The button we lose when we leave the house, and which we are forced to have sewn up, perhaps saves us from an accident that was prepared for us, if we had gone out in time. (p. 312)

The wind doesn’t know how to leaf through the pages of a book in its own way: either it moves one or all at once, with the fury of a mad reader. (p. 318)

  • The wind likes to play with the sand of the desert as children like to play with the sand of the sea. (p. 319)
  • The bad thing about the wind is that it doesn't have a comb. (p. 319)

Incipit of some works:


The Bullfighter Caracho:


Caracho was born in Madrid, the son of a civil guard and a doorkeeper. [quoted in Fruttero & Lucentini, Íncipit, Mondadori, C.E.1993]

The incongruous:


Gustavo was born 6 months old, in a box of the Opera House, and his premature arrival caused the performance of the Huguenots to be suspended for five minutes.
[quoted in Fruttero & Lucentini, Íncipit, Mondadori, C.E.1993]

Quotes about Ramón Gómez de la Serna:

  • The times (the many times) that it happens to me to feel ill and to ask a book not for the umpteenth contagion of complicit desolation but the deception of a euphoria, the hand searches the shelves for happy pages: the great Feydeau, the great Wodehouse... If they yield little profit and the relief is delayed, the supreme resource is to translate some of the innumerable (12,000? 15,000?) greguerías by Ramón Gómez de la Serna. My Spanish is thin, the vocabulary I use is scholastic, but it is enough to bring out, word after word, with the same whim as if I were the author, from those short or minimal texts a bizarre acuity, an astonishing analogy, a burst of electric humor, as if in front of a tightrope walker darting from one trapeze to another, before disappearing to break his neck through a hole in the tarpaulin. For this is the greguerías: pirouettes and mental twirls, morganatic marriages between creatures of different bloods, arranged by a half-illusionist, behind whose steps we penetrate into the most mercurial of universes, a ubiquitous place that is all places and none, and where flowers, stones, animals, Pythagorean tables and ABCs, meteors and wagons-lits, intertwine with joy, as in a quadrille of spearmen or in a canvas by Mirò. Adorably dated sleight of hand, demanding children's ears and eyes. (Gesualdo Bufalino)
  • Ramón has attached, like the snail to the shell, to the table. He bought one, two, five, 7 fountain pens: one, five, ten, a hundred, five hundred reams of paper. He began writing at the age of thirteen. Go on. In his life, the characters are him, his pen and his lamp. In the world, marble slabs should not be affixed to every corner, and the words "Here he lived..." should be engraved. There will be only one house where a plaque will be placed: "Here Ramón wrote a thousand volumes". Patient as a Chinese, prolific as a Latin, methodical as a German. There are, in him, finally pacified, the cicada and the ant of La Fontaine. The cicada sings. The ant collects: it collects the archives of notes, notes, memories, cues, ideas, traces, projects. An idea about sunset, an idea about women's eyes, one about dawn, one about bullfighters, one about gout medicines, one about abandoned pianos. Away, away, away: all day, all months, all seasons, all years. (Orio Vergani)


  1. Quoted in Dictionary of quotations, edited by Italo Sordi, BUR, C.E.1992. ISBN 88 -17-14603-X
  2. Quoted in Frédéric Vitoux, Sweat steps: the love dictionary of cats, translation by Giovanni Zucca, Rizzoli, Milan, C.E.2008, p. 99. ISBN 978-88-17-02779-3
  3. From Prólogo to La mujer de ámbar, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, C.E.1981; cited in L'averno e il cielo, Naples in Spanish and Hispano-American literature, edited by Teresa Cirillo Sirri and José Vicente Quirante Rives, translation for Ramón Gómez de la Serna by Teresa Cirillo Sirri, Libreria Dante & Descartres, Naples , C.E.2007, p. 87. ISBN 978-88-6157-015-3
  4. From Don Diego Velázquez, 1943; cited in Velázquez, I Classici dell'arte, edited by Elena Ragusa, Rizzoli/Skira, Milan, C.E.2003, pp. 183-188.
  5. Template:Cfr Archimedes: 'Give me a foothold and I will lift the world up to you.'



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