Sobre la historia de la literatura vasca: diagnóstico y perspectivas
Lasagabaster Madinabeitia, Jesús María
MetadataShow full item record
Anuario del Seminario de Filología Vasca Julio de Urquijo 41(1) : 237-248 (2007)
The purpose of this article is to examine Basque literary historiography and determine the priorities that it should establish for the future. The author begins with observations on the important role linguist Koldo Mitxelena has played in both Basque historiography and Basque literary criticism. The rigor of his writings, and his extensive knowledge of the Basque language and of global culture are evident in his Historia de la literatura vasca (History of Basque Literature; 1960), a text that even today remains an essential reference for any historical examination of Basque literature. The author mentions texts by Michel (1857), Orixe (1927) and Laffite (1941) which, without being literary histories, could nevertheless be considered forerunners of later works. After theoretical ruminations on the trends and debates that have shaped Literary History as a discipline, the author discusses the excessive fragmentation and juxtaposition of data of histories like those of Villasante and Estornes Lasa, as well as the overly mechanical reading of the relationship between literature and society that prevails in Sarasola's history (1971). The article notes the positive influence that methodologies like the Esthetic of Reception have had on recent histories of Basque literature. Although they accurately describe the evolution of Basque literature within Basque society, histories like that edited by Urquizu (2000) continue to suffer from a fragmentary nature and a lack of diachronic vision with respect to previous texts. The author closes by calling for a change of perspective toward an emphasis on the multidisciplinary study of the literary life of the Basque Country.