Ancient yet Youthful
Cover of 'hamaika pauso' by ramon saizarbitoria (erein publishing house)1
Cover of 'gasteizko hondartzak' by xabier montoia (susa publishing house)11
'Averaging 1,500 new titles a year, more books than ever are being published in Basque.'

Diarmuid Johnson

It is with great pleasure, on the eve of the Frankfurt Bookfair 2005, that Transcript presents this special issue, dedicated to contemporary Basque literature.

The issue, lavish and extensive, is an invitation to Transcript's many and erudite readers to savour Basque literature, and, we hope, to acquire a lasting taste for it.

In its pages, readers will find signposts leading them to places and people of capital importance in the Basque literature of the last thirty years.

En route, learn about the vibrant contemporary publishing scene in Euskadi, and of the history of Basque involvement in a now fully fledged tradition of translation.

In an earlier issue (Transcript 5), an anthology of Basque poetry whet the appetite. On the occasion of this issue, we concentrate on voices in prose, tendering a baker's dozen.

Here the reader will find extracts from novels by well-known Basque authors, as well as samples of work by Euskadi's most significant short story writers.

Averaging 1,500 new titles a year, more books than ever are being published in Basque. To celebrate this fact, and the better to shout it out, we showcase here works by some of the authors who think and write in one of the oldest languages in Europe.

In so doing, Transcript trusts that echoes of its endeavours will reach the Basque Country from the hearts of new-found friends of an ancient yet youthful culture.

Read also A Brief Look at Contemporary Basque Publishing.


The Association of Translators, Correctors and Interpreters of Basque Language, EIZIE, in association with Literature Across Frontiers would like to thank the Ministry of Culture of the Basque Government for its financial support, without which this special Basque Literature issue of Transcript would not have been possible.

Transcript would like to extend special thanks to guest editor Mari Jose Olaziregi of the University of the Basque Country whose contribution to this issue has been both fundemental and immesurable.

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