Josefina Oliver has a subtle and mocking sense of humour all along her oeuvre. Some of her photos look simply funny while she sets cheerful stagings in some others.
In her Diary she describes, makes records of her surroundings and at the same time she photographs her world. It seems as if she had listened to Chejov saying: "People don’t travel to the North Pole to fall off the ‘icebergs’. They go to the office, quarrel with their wives and have cabbage soup".
In her letters and postcards, though never in her diary, she gets close to mockery, as it is possible to see in some examples:
- ‘I met Mrs. Campitos, who is as tall as me, and almost as agreable.
- ‘Dad gave me the harmonium he bought Pichot as a present (…) I have it on a corner in my room and in the evening the house resembles a chapel. 15th June 1906’. Postc PV 007
- After describing the party of her silver wedding anniversary in a letter, she concludes:
‘One thing that is definitely certain is that here photographers are shoemakers so we choose not to have photos by them’. CtaJ - MGO_015a_26ene'33 MT
And in a letter to her niece, she says:
‘Palma de Mallorca, 12th April 1923
Dear Nena: I received your letter and I can’t do anything else but congratulating you for such an entertaining life you are leading and for the thousand extraordinary things you continuously see. Apart from the short godmother you have, (Mercedes, her half sister) you must have been adopted by another invisible fairy that supplies you with so much happiness. Sometimes I think that if at your age I had had the chance of having an atom of what you can enjoy, happiness would have driven me mad. Well, keep on making the most of joy’s champagne (Paysandusesque expression) and during your sublime drunkenness, don’t forget about those Majorcan relatives who see and do the same day after day…’ CtaJ-MGO_001a_12abr'23 MT
- Josefina Oliver used to tell her grandnieces she had been born on a 29th February, thus she celebrated her birthday every four years. Except for the little detail that 1875 wasn’t a leap year.