Latest News from Maison Maiatz

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The publishing house publishes, for the first time, texts by Basque authors translated into Gascon. And vice versa.

As he usually does on the eve of the Durango fair, Lucien Etxezaharreta presented the latest publications in Basque in the Maiatz publishing house in Bayonne on Wednesday, of which he is the director. Starting with the magazine of the same name, which is the fifty-first issue, and which will celebrate its thirtieth anniversary next year.

 Among the texts that make up this issue is a pastoral in the Souletine language, texts by the novelist Itxaro Borda, where she recalls her life in her post office, musician Mikel Etchekopar and cartoonist Ramuntxo Partarrieu, who, for the first time Times in the writing, of Eñaut Etxamendi, and of Lucien Etxezaharreta himself.

Mutual ignorance

The great novelty among these publications is a work in Euskara and in Gascon: “Escrivans / Idalze”. It is the fruit of three years of work and cooperation between Maiatz and the Gascon publishing house Per Noste. Excerpts from texts by a dozen authors (works of fiction, poems, news) are presented in both languages. French has been, paradoxically, a necessary passage for translation from one language to another.

“This book aims to fight a mutual ignorance,” stressed Lucien Etxezaharreta. It allows authors of the Basque Country to better know those who write in Gascon, and vice versa. Each language has much to gain by knowing its neighbor. “

The director of Maiatz was struck by a characteristic common to all these texts: “It is all but a return to regionalism. Writing, both in Basque and Gascon, is detached from the old forms and from all nostalgia for the past. It expresses true liberation. “

Free Verses

The third book presented is a collection of poems by Amaia Lasa Alegria: “Itsasoko izaki”. This Guipuzcoan teacher, who has always lived in Getaria, wrote for over forty years, leaving each poem to mature, taking her time before publishing. And when she decides to make these texts public, she no longer touches them.

In this last collection she celebrates, in free verse, the ocean whose presence accompanies her life, music, the district of Harlem, in New York, where she once lost herself, the Black Cuban who in Nicaragua , Helped him to give birth to his first daughter …

The poems of Amaia Lasa Alegria are illustrated with drawings, in gray tones, by Lurdes Muñoz, one of his co-workers.

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