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7 March - 20 June 2015


Worlds change, and in doing so they can sweep away the languages and cultures that the inhabitants of those worlds fail to adapt to the new situation. The causes of this crisis are usually diverse and the explanations may blame the foreign enemy or also seek society’s share of responsibility and that of the institutions it provides to govern itself. Languages and cultures should always seek their place in a context that is in constant transformation. Literature provides a good vantage point to observe these processes.

Over a period four months, four profound experts on this subject, from four different environments, will discuss the current relationship between society and culture. They will face three Galician opponents, who will precede the audience participation.



Bernardo Atxaga: The cork and the anchor

He will refer to the weak, incorrect or inaccurate reasons that have been employed for or against writing in a minority language (the cork of the matter); reasons that Atxaga confronts with others that have also been flourished and that he believes are strong, the "anchors" referred to in the title of his presentation.

Born in Asteasu (Guipúzcoa, Spain), his real name is Joseba Irazu. His career is marked by important international awards. In 1989 he won the Euskadi Prize and the National Prize for Fiction for Obabakoak, his most successful novel, with which he was also a finalist in the now defunct European Prize in 1990. He also won, for several novels, the Grinzane Cavour Prize, the Mondello Prize, one of the TLS awards for the best works translated into English in 2009, or the selection of the US Publishers Weekly as one of the best works of fiction of 2012. In the area of poetry he published his first work, Etiopia, in 1978 and won the Cesare Pavese Prize in 2003 for Dall altra parte della frontiera, an Italian version of some of his earlier poems. His work has been translated to 32 languages, and has also been made into films. In 2006 he was elected member of Euskaltzaindia, the Royal Academy of the Basque Language.



Suso de Toro: A literary work needs a reader, literature needs a state

A picture needs eyes to look at it, music needs ears to listen to it, but literature needs someone to see the text who knows how to read and also knows the language it is written in. In Suso de Toro's understanding, languages need national, social spaces, to exist. And also the protection of a state, whether this is a state that combines its existence with that of the language or not. Have the Galician language and literature had a state to protect them for the forty years that have passed since 1975? That is the question that will be raised during his conference.

Born in Santiago de Compostela (Galicia, Spain), he has a degree in Geography and History, specialising in Contemporary and Modern Art, at the University of Santiago of Compostela. He combines his literary work with script writing for radio and television, with collaborations in the press and radio and with teaching. He writes in Galician and has published thirty books of fiction, theatre and essays. His novel Trece badaladas received the National prize for Fiction in 2003, and was made into a film. He also received the following awards: Galicia Critics Award (1986), the Spanish Critics Award (1993 and 2000) and the Blanco Amor Fiction Award (1997). His work is translated into several languages and it has been studied at various European universities.


23 MAY

Carme Riera: Literature is dead, long live football

To the extent that literature is no longer linked to the national issue, it is no longer considered inseparable from people's lives, and interest in it is lost. Today, things that are inseparable from people are their football teams, even though their members are of foreign, distant and diverse origin.

Born in Palma de Mallorca (Spain), she is professor of Spanish literature at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, author of novels and short stories in Catalan and essays in Catalan and Spanish. She is an academic of the Royal Spanish Academy. She is also a fellow of the Real Academy of Literature of Barcelona. Among the numerous awards received by Riera we can highlight the Josep Pla Award (1994), the National Prize for Fiction (1995), the Joan Crexells Fiction Prize (1994), the Lletra d'Or (1995), the Vittorini Prize for the best foreign novel published in Italy (2000); the Serra d'Or Critics award (2001), the Sant Jordi novel award (2003) and the Terenci Moix Prize for the best essay of the year (2013). In addition, in 2001 she received the National Culture Prize awarded by the Generalitat de Cataluña. Her work has been translated to English, German, Italian, Portuguese, French, Russian, Greek, Dutch, Rumanian, Hebrew, Hungarian, Turkish and Slovak.

20th JUNE

Bradley Epps: The fond legacy of normality: Tensions and twists of linguistic and national identity

Bradley Epps will reflect on the permeable and precarious state of the Arts, of their interference and incursion, and also of how illusory and unstable all rules are, and all nature (understood at least as unique and immutable). He will postulate alien status as a contingent condition: you are not strange or foreign but you just are; that alien status or strangeness crosses all standardised and non-standardised languages and those awaiting standardisation.

Born in Catawba (North Carolina, United States), he is professor of Spanish Literature and director of the Spanish and Portuguese Department of the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom). For over two decades he worked as lecturer and professor of Romance Languages and Literature at the US University of Harvard, where he directed the program of studies on women, gender and sexuality. He has published over one hundred articles, four monographic books and he has contributed to periodicals on literature, film, art, architecture, urbanism and critical theory in relation to Spain, Latin America, Catalonia, Equatorial Guinea, United States and France. He has taught as a guest lecturer at Spanish universities (including Santiago de Compostela), and other higher education institutions in Germany, France, Netherlands, Chile, Cuba, Sweden, Costa Rica and China.



Henrique Alvarellos

He has a degree in Hispanic Studies and a PhD in Communication, he is editor, writer and journalist for media and press offices. Since 2004 he has managed Alvarellos Editora, the company founded by his father in 1977.

Xosé A. López Silva

He is a lecturer, Latinist and researcher at the University of Santiago of Compostela. He also works as a translator, editor and literary critic, particularly for the magazines Grial, Tempos Novos, and Vísperas, as well as for Cierzo, the cultural supplement of the newspapers Diario de Ferrol, El Ideal Gallego and Diario de Arousa. He is also a regular columnist of the newspaper El Correo Gallego.

Ramón Nicolas

He is a lecturer of Galician Language and Literature, literary critic, translator and essayist. He works as aliterary critic for La Voz de Galicia and for some years he has written the Galician literary blog Caderno da Crítica.



7th March  

Bernardo Atxaga: The cork and the anchor

Opponents: Henrique Alvarellos, Xosé A. López Silva and Ramón Nicolás

11th April  

Suso de Toro: A literary work needs a reader, literature needs a state

Opponents: Henrique Alvarellos, Xosé A. López Silva and Ramón Nicolás

23rd May   

Carme Riera: Literature is dead, long live football

Opponents: Henrique Alvarellos, Xosé A. López Silva and Ramón Nicolás

20th June   

Bradley Epps: The fondness for normality: Tensions and twists of linguistic and national identity

Opponents: Henrique Alvarellos, Xosé A. López Silva and Ramón Nicolás


DIRECTION: Alfredo Conde

HOURS: from 12.00 to 2.00 p.m.

AUDIENCE: Aimed at anyone interested in the proposed theme.

PLACES: 250. Free admission until full capacity

COORDINATION: Virginia Villar.

With the collaboration of the Secretaría Xeral de Medios and the Secretaría Xeral de Cultura of the Xunta de Galicia.

Rúa Valle Inclán, 2
15703 Santiago de Compostela
Ph.: (+34) 981 546 619