October 16, 2021

Rivas Even Advocates the Role Of Prominent Galician

3 min read
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Emphasizes that poetry has always played a prominent role in Galician literature despite its structural precariousness and believes that perhaps we should not give much thought to why so many awards.

“It is enough to remember the words of Gamoneda when he stated that the qualitative mean of Galician poetry is above others,” he adds. Indeed, the poet from León who received the Cervantes Prize in 2006 and the National Poetry Prize in 1988 declares himself a great admirer of current Galician poetry and places Pallarés and Novo as “the strongest poets”.

Gamoneda believes that its quality is the result of a process that dates back to the middle of the last century, with the “revitalization” and “enhancement” of the Galician language led by intellectuals and writers, largely poets.

“How can special things not happen between the end of the world and the river of oblivion?” Asks the writer Manuel Rivas, referring to Cape Fisterra and the nickname with which the Romans alluded to the Limia river, the poetic boundaries that frame the west and south of the Galician territory.

He does perceive in Galicia “a particularly creative moment”, which connects with a “nonconformist, heterodox and freedom tradition” that goes back to medieval songbooks. Galician poetry rebels against “chatter and superficiality” that prevails today, and feeds “a local-universal space against the cosmopalette idea of globalization”.

He is not surprised by the emergence of female voices: “The thinking that Galician culture supports is ecofeminist. They are Rosalía’s great-great-granddaughters ”.

Rivas even advocates finding a name for these years of “special” poetic fertility in Galicia and, as an emergency solution, proposes almeiro , the word with which fishermen baptized the places of the underwater world that are an explosion of life, those where the fish breed and the bottom is carpeted with seaweed meadows.

This literary milestone arrives, he warns, in a “contradictory” time for the Galician language: “On the one hand we feel the anguish of extinction, of the loss of speakers, and on the other, poetry launches a mayday and becomes an antidote against that danger ”.

Luis Rei is responsible for the Tambo poetry collection, of the Kalandraka publishing house, which published the books by Álvarez Torneiro and Novo that received the National Prize. In his opinion, this accumulation of awards is “a bit random.”

Among the five Galician poets awarded national prizes within seven years there is “a 40-year work.” “There have been many years of crossing in the desert and now oases are beginning to appear,” he sums up. “Before in Madrid there was indifference and a lot of looking at the navel”.

Jesús Munárriz, founder of the Hiperión publishing house and bookstore, specialized in poetry, is critical of the fact that the Ministry of Culture grants literary prizes. He considers that the operation of the juries, made up of government officials, academics and representatives of universities and associations of writers, literary critics or journalists, “leaves much to be desired” because they vote “by affinities” that “have little to do with the literary value ”.

“It doesn’t mean that the winner is bad, all the finalists are good,” he points out. Now she appreciates “linguistic solidarity among those who do not write in Spanish” and “solidarity between women”. “It is a political phenomenon that comes from the Government and that makes the prizes open,” he says. “Galicians wrote just as well before, when they were paid less attention.”

Authors and editors complain about the lack of support of the public administrations in Galicia for a genre in which the community proves to be a power. Rei calls for policies to promote poetry among Galicians to broaden readers.

“The most amazing thing about these recognitions is that they are born by spontaneous generation, without having the support of society behind them,” he emphasizes. “Literary creation in Galicia is very neglected, there is no aid beyond literary residencies promoted from the private sphere,” agrees Otero. Hermo argues that these national awards should make institutions reflect: “They have shown that betting on poetry would be an intelligent strategic line.”

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