Barga, Corpus 1888-1975

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BARGA, Corpus 1888-1975

(Andrés García de las Barga y Gómez de la Serna)

PERSONAL: Born Andrés García de las Barga y Gómez de la Serna, 1888; died 1975.

CAREER: Diablo Mundo, Spain, director, 1936; Escuela de Periodismo de la Facultad de Letras, Lima, Peru, director, beginning 1948.


La vida rota, Artistica Española (Madrid, Spain), 1910.

Un viaje en el año 19; Un viaje en el año 30; Otros viajes (articles), Ediciones Júcar (Madrid, Spain), 1919, reprinted, 1987.

Los pasos contados; una vida española a caballo en dos siglos, 1887–1957 (memoir), Volumes 1-3, E.D.H.A.S.A. (Barcelona, Spain), Volume 4, Alianza Editorial (Madrid, Spain), 1963–73, four volumes reprinted, Alianza Editorial (Madrid, Spain), 1979, reprinted in two volumes, Consejería de Educación (Madrid, Spain), 2002.

Crónicas literarias, Ediciones Júcar (Madrid, Spain), 1984.

Apocalipsis; Pasión y muerte; Hechizo de la triste marquesa (stories), Ediciones Júcar (Gijón, Spain), 1987.

Paseos por Madrid (travel), Ediciones Júcar (Madrid, Spain), 1987, reprinted, Alianza Editorial (Madrid, Spain), 2002.

El rey ileso, La Idea (Madrid, Spain), 1987.

Entrevistas, semblanzas y crónicas, Pre-Textos (Valencia, Spain), 1992.

Viajes por Italia (travel), Renacimiento (Seville, Spain), 2003.

Fuegos fugitivos: antología de artículos de Corpus Barga, 1949–1964 (anthology), compiled by Marcel Velázquez Castro, National University of San Marcos (Lima, Peru), 2003.

Contributor to periodicals, including El País, El Sol, Diario de Madrid, La Correspondencia de España, and La Nacion.

SIDELIGHTS: Spanish journalist Corpus Barga is considered to be the chronicler of Spain as it was during much of the twentieth century. As a young member of the "Generation of '98," Barga was forced to leave Spain for Paris in 1914, following his involvement with the notorious underground anarchist magazine Menipo.

In an issue of Nueva España dated November 14, 1914, he wrote, "Since my childhood I have felt a profound dissension with the values in today's Spain. Not only with the current political regime, but with the way we live our lives." Paris proved a better fit for Barga, who became a member of the Parisian avant garde and wrote articles about the artistic scene for Spanish publications. Barga also joined with the group of writers that created the magazine España and in 1916 published a landmark series of articles on the emerging modernist movement in France. These included "French Artists Talk about Spain," "A Visit with the Philosopher Bergson," "A Visit with the Hispanicist Morel-Fato at the College de France," and "A Visit with Rodin." These articles became so popular that he continued the series, which became the column "Letters from France."

With his writing in demand, Barga acted as a sort of "special correspondent," writing on any and all subjects that interested him. By the end of World War I, essayist E. Giménez Caballero had dubbed him the "Ambassador from France." In early 1931, Barga returned to Spain. A repressive six-year coup by Alfonso XIII had ended in 1930, and the ensuing elections saw a coalition of Republicans and Socialists carry the day. The second republic was proclaimed, universal suffrage was introduced, Alfonso XIII fled the country, and Madrid was officially recognized as the capital of the Spanish state. During this period Barga wrote many articles on the great adventure of commercial aviation and participated, as a journalist, on the first transatlantic zeppelin flight.

Living through the hopeful and effervescent years before the outbreak of the Spanish Civil war, Barga helped form the Spanish Aid Committee to assist the growing number of victims of the rising tide of fascism. In 1934 he directed the weekly Diablo Mundo, and in 1936 was part of the idealistic but short-lived Frente Popular. This period was sadly short-lived, however, as party infighting, calls for revolution, a series of crippling strikes, and the bloody suppression of a miners' revolt by troops led by General Francisco Franco left Spain divided between militant forces of both right and left.

At the outset of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, Barga exiled himself to Paris and joined the Intellectual Alliance against Fascism. During this period he formed enduring friendships with several leading writers and intellectuals of the day, including Pablo Neruda, Pablo Picasso, Luis Aragón, Luis Alberto Sánchez, Paul Eluard, and Benjamin Prado. When Neruda was leaving France, Barga organized a fleet of small boats to say goodbye to the liner carrying his friend back to Chile.

The name of Barga is viewed as synonymous with the long exile of Spanish artists and intellectuals after the fall of Catalonia in 1939. During this time Barga moved among Paris, Berlin, and Latin America, and after World War II he settled permanently in Lima, Peru. It was his good friend Franklin Urteaga who suggested that Barga create an institute of journalism at the University of San Marcos in Lima. Arriving in that city in 1948, Barga set up the institute, which soon acquired publishing capabilities and a radio station. In the 1960s, he began publishing his memoirs in a series of loosely constructed novels titled Los pasos contados. Upon learning of his death in 1975, philosopher Maria Zambrano remembered Barga and was quoted by Francisco Arias Solis on the Foro Libre Web site as saying he was always a "hero without melancholy, speaking to the whole world for Spain."



Barga, Corpus, Los pasos contados; una vida española a caballo en dos siglos, 1887–1957, two volumes, Consejería de Educación (Madrid, Spain), 2002.

Del Álamo Triana, Isabel, Contando sus pasos: primer viaje a América (La vida rota, segunda parte) y otros textos inéditos de su juventud, Pre-Textos (Valencia, Spain), 1997.

Del Álamo Triana, Isabel, Corpus Barga, el cronista de su siglo, University of Alicante (Alicante, Spain), 2001.


Revista de Occidente, Volume 82, 1970, Concha Castro Viejo, "Libros recientes de Corpus Barga," pp. 342-349.


Foro Libre Web site, (March 21, 2003), Francisco Arias Solis, tribute to Barga.

Universidad Complutense de Madrid Web site, (June 10, 2002), Felix Rebollo, "El periodismo literario de los ensayistas y narradores novecentistas."