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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Span 190

Collection of correspondence, photographs, and clippings by and about Alejandra Pizarnik


Correspondence, photographs, and other papers relating to Argentinian poet, Alejandra Pizarnik.


  • 1956-1973


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.


.1 linear feet (1 box)

Collection formed by an unnamed friend of Pizarnik includes personal and literary letters from renowned authors, two letters by Pizarnik, two photographs annotated by Pizarnik and others, a drawing, and two folders of printed articles and other papers assembled by her. Correspondence is accompanied by transcriptions in Spanish.

Biographical / Historical

Alejandra Pizarnik was born in Buenos Aires to Russian Jewish immigrant parents. She studied philosophy and literature at the University of Buenos Aires before dropping out to pursue painting and her own poetry. She moved in 1960 to Paris where she befriended writers such as Octavio Paz, Julio Cortazar, and Silvina Ocampo. Considered one of mid-century Argentina's most powerful and intense lyric poets, her themes were cruelty, childhood, estrangement, and death. Pizarnik counted among her influences Hölderlin and, as she wrote in “The Incarnate Word” (1965), “the suffering of Baudelaire, the suicide of Nerval, the premature silence of Rimbaud, the mysterious and fleeting presence of Lautréamont,” and the “unparalleled intensity” of Artaud's “physical and moral suffering.” Pizarnik committed suicide at age 36.

Pizarnik’s published works include La tierra más ajena (1955), La última inocencia (1956), Las aventuras perdidas (1958), Árbol de Diana (1960), Extracción de la piedra de locura (1968), and El infierno musical (1971).


Arranged in series as received.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

2019M-26. Purchased from Libraria de Antano with funds from the Amy Lowell Trust, 2018.

Processing Information

Processed by Melanie Wisner, 2018.

Collection of correspondence, photographs, and clippings by and about Alejandra Pizarnik (MS Span 190): Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard University
2018 October 4
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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