Forever in Galicia
by A.R. Castelao
Translated from the Galician by Craig Patterson
ISBN 978 0 9935344 8 5
570 pages Paperback
"'Forever in Galicia' contribúe a unha versión alternativa da historia ibérica dende un punto de vista non centralista"
Marcos Pérez Pena, Praza Pública, 9 September 2016
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Forever in Galicia is the most extensive account of Galician identity ever written, an idiosyncratic text that spans and erodes the traditional genres of memoir, political treatise, historical essay and revisionist analysis.
An alternative account of Spanish history, it argues in defence of cultural and linguistic diversity, providing a case for political devolution and independence. Written before, during and after the Spanish Civil War, it reflects the tensions in Spain leading up to the conflict from a Galician perspective, as well as the utter desolation and burgeoning optimism after the devastating events of 1936–39.
The obstinate and determined humanity of Castelao permeates these pages with a love for a home that he would never see again, his moral and ethical argument compelling and still applicable to Galicia and other contexts around the world in the twenty-first century.
This iconic work has been translated from Galician into English for the first time.
Alfonso Rodríguez Castelao was born in Galicia in 1886. After spending his early years in Argentina, he returned to Galicia in 1900 and studied medicine, before working as a civil servant whilst developing as a visual and literary artist. Castelao entered the ranks of the emerging Galician nationalist movement in 1918, swiftly becoming its leader and figurehead. He survived the brutal and immediate consequences of the Spanish Civil War in the summer 1936, taking refuge in Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, before finally settling in Buenos Aires in 1940, composing along these routes of exile the material that would form Forever in Galicia. Castelao died at the age of 64 in 1950 of lung cancer. His remains were repatriated to Galicia in 1984 and today lie in Santiago de Compostela.
Craig Patterson is a freelance translator. Amongst other works, he has translated Sempre en Galiza by Castelao (published as Forever in Galicia, Boutle, 2016), A Esmorga by Eduardo Blanco Amor (published as On A Bender, Planet, 2012), and various collections of poetry by Francisco X. Fernández Naval. He was born in England, holds an Irish passport and lives in A Coruña, Galicia.