“Gramera Berria,” was a manual to teach Spanish to Basques published in Buenos Aires in 1860, aimed at Basque immigrants who didn’t know the language. A century and a half later, to introduce this interesting material, the published located in the Uruguayan capital will produce a new edition, by Alberto Angulo, Miren Itziar Enecoiz, Jon Ander Ramos and Oscar Álvarez.
Montevideo, Uruguay. Since its creation in 2012, to day the Euskal Erria publishers have produced 12 titles in Euskera, Spanish and English. Among these in Basque is Udazkenean aske an autobiographical account by the former Director of Relations with the Basque Communities Abroad in the Basque Governemtn, Josu Legarreta and 1615. Baskavigin, a text that gathers stories of the assassination of a group of Basque whalers who were ship wrecked on the coast of Iceland in the winter of 1615. This has become a best seller along with Baba Zula and the White Horse, by Basque-American poet Sophia Etxeberria.
After a successful five years, the publisher run by Alberto Irigoyen, continues its work of sharing new texts and to reprint the classics. According to Irigoyen, “this year we are hoping to publish at least three new titles although right now we can only confirm Gramera Berria a manual to learn Spanish that was published in Buenos Aires in 1860, for Basque immigrants that didn’t know the language. Those involved with this work are: Alberto Angulo, Miren Itziar Enecoiz, Jon Ander Ramos and Oscar Álvarez.”
A Little History
The Euskal Erria Publisher was created in 2012, as part of the centennial of the foundation of the Society of Basque Confraternity Euskal Erria in Montevideo, and in honor of those men and women who gathered around this instituion in hopes of maintaining and spread the Basque culture in Uruguay. Remember that at the time the Euskal Etxea was founded by Evaristo Bozas Urrutia, and Arnaldo Parrabere, the Society began published the magazine Euskal Erria that many years later became the mirror of their achievements and their desires as well as the link with the distant homeland through the news, opinion articles and literature. The magazine discontinued in 1960, after issue 1003, becoming the publication by an euskal etxea with the most issues.
“Besides its magazine,” Irigoyen continues, “Euskal Erria also had two institutions: the Basque Book Club and Euskaltzaleak Kidegoa, that were responsible for publications in Euskera and whose members were the promotors of the Department of Basque Studies at the University of the Republic. Among the Book Club members and Euskaltzaleak Kidegoa were my grandfather, Pedro Artetxe who became my inspiration when this project began,” he concluded.
In hopes of resuming, the initiative of spreading the Basque culture and language in the American Diaspora the publishing house was created in the centennial year of the Euskal Erria Society, although according to Irigoyen, they maintain strong ties with the Society "but we are an independent initiative.” In regards to the publisher’s work, “we publish works on Basque topics that contribute to the comprehension and diffusion of the Basque history and culture. We publish academic books in whatever area of the sciences, but above all in the area of humanities and social sciences, as well as fiction works (novels, theater and poetry) as well as memories. Authors can submit manuscripts that we then share with experts in the area for review. We then decide on what to publish in function to their feedback.”
Anyone wishing to get in touch with them can do so via emal: firstname.lastname@example.org; for more information on the project visit their website: http://editorialeuskalerria.eu/quienesSomos.php