• The University of Oviedo inaugurates the Augusto Monterroso Hall to exhibit the writer's legacy.

    December 21, 2011

    The collection, which was bequeathed by Prince of Asturias Award's widow in 2008 and catalogued by a committee of experts, includes more than 9,000 books and several documents, works of art and awards.

    Rector's speech in the inuguration ceremonyof the  Augusto Monterroso Hall

    The University of Oviedo has inaugurated the Augusto Monterroso Hall on the first floor of the Library of the Humanities Campus, El Milán, where the legacy that the write's widow, Bárabra Jacobs, bequeathed to the Asturian academic institution in 2008 will be placed. The collection of the 2000 Prince of Asturias Award for Literature has been catalogued and supervised throughout these years by a committee of experts and included 9,066 books and more than 260 entries with pictures, journals, newspapers, letters, photographs and audiovisual material.

    The hall is part of the Centre of Hispanoamerican Studies of El Milán Campus. The Rector, Vicente Gotor, as well as the Director of the University Library, Ramón Rodríguez, and the Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters, Cristina Valdés, participated in the inauguration ceremony. In his speech, the Rector remembered the Guatemalan author's visit to Oviedo in 2000 "when he was swept away by Asturias and our University" and thanked his widow, Bárbara Jacobs, for her generosity with the Asturian institution. The Prince of Asturias Award that he was given in the Campoamor Theatre can be seen in the Monterroso Hall as part of the author's legacy.

    Vicente Gotor also aknowledged the work of the committee of experts, presided over by Professor José Luis Roca and made up by Ramón Rodríguez, Marta Pérez Toral, Ana Quijada, Gloria Rodríguez and the library staff "who for three years has worked with dedication, rigour and patience to catalogue all the batches of the collection received". The Director of the Library of the University of Oviedo, Ramón Rodríguez, highlighted the abundance and importance of Monterroso's personal batches and praised the generosity of distinguished figures who, with their donations, contribute to increase the valuable library heritage. Besides, the Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters, Cristina Valdés, emphasized the work carried out by the Library of Humanities' staff and the importance of the Centre of Hispano American Studies being available to everybody.

    A master's collection

    The master of short tales, who died in 2003, had kept throughout his entire life a wide and varied library in which masterpieces such as the following stand out: the first edition of Ismos by Gómez de la Serna, the second edition of Trilce by César Vallejo, the 1851 and first edition of Escenas de la vida bohemia, Henri Muger's book transformed by Puccini into La Bohème, which meant a milestone in Monterroso's youth and appeared in his memoirs, Los buscadores de oro.

    The bibliographical butches also include a section devoted to Spanish language and foreign languages with dictionaries in different languages and grammar texts; a section of classic authors and the masterpieces by classical Greek and Latin authors such as the complete works by Tito Livio, Plauto, Ciceron or Platon; a section of universal literature with critical studies on The Quixote and a comprehensive sample of Hispano American literature from the XIC and XX centuries with complete works by Jorge Luis Borges, Juilo Cortázar or Pablo Neruda; and a section of poetry which means a tour in history from the Classics to nowadays.

    Also, there are numerous Spanish and English classics, compilations of aphorisms and proverbs and volumes devoted to visual arts, music and sciences. Monterroso's document archives compiles a wide colletion of journals, writings, personal notes, genuine letters by artists of the NorthAmerican vanguard such as Yoko Ono and television programs recordings. The legacy also includes graphic works with Augusto Monterroso's portraits, engravings, lithographies, sculptures and drawings. Some books incorporate notes, drawings and even Diego's genuine flyleaves in Pablo Neruda's Canto edition.

    Finally, there stands out the section of rewards and honours, where one can see Miró's title and sculpture received by Monterroso for the Prince of Asturias Award for Literature, apart from the Order of Isabella the Catholic and the National Prize for Literature.