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Euskal Idazleen Elkartea

A brief history of Basque literature

In 1876 the Fueros or ancient Basque Laws and Privileges were abolished. Faced with this assault the Basque people developed a concern for their own history, culture and language. And the cultivation of literature began to spread as never before.

People from the four provinces in the south gathered together; and in Iruñea (Pamplona) in 1877 they founded the “Asociación Euskara de Navarra”. Arturo Campion, Hermilio Oloriz, Juan de Iturralde and others were members of this organisation and founded the journal “Euskara”.

In Gasteiz (Vitoria) J. Apraiz, Federico Baraibar, Ricardo de Bengoa and others were the most prominent. Fermin Herran, among others, published the journal “Revista de las Provincias Eúskaras”. In Bilbo (Bilbao) Aristides de Artiñano, Juan E. Delmas and Antonio Trueba were well-known figures.

Nevertheless the most important centre for cultivating the Basque language was in Gipuzkoa, in Donostia (San Sebastian). Jose Manterola was the founder of that movement.

At the same time modern Basque theatre was born in Donostia. The play Iriyarena by Martzelino Soroa was staged in Ziburu (Ciboure) in 1876 and two years later at the Teatro Principal in Donostia. It was very popular and Soroa went on writing. There were many followers in this genre and they included Toribio Altzaga.

Another important centre of culture, despite arising somewhat later, was that of Bilbo (Bilbao). The main protagonists in this case were R. M. Azkue and Sabino Arana Goiri. They held very different views on the Basque language but their influence was to make itself felt into the 20th century.

Liburuak Gozagarri 2018
Literatur Jarduerak
Idazleak Ikastetxeetan
Gure Programak
2011 Euskal Idazleen Elkartea
Zemoria kalea 25 · 20013 Donostia (Gipuzkoa)
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