The Euskadi Awards claim the importance of literature and reading. Deia, Bizkaia News

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DONOSTIAThe lehendakari, Iñigo Urkullu, stressed yesterday the “importance” of literature, reading and culture to “continue building a more creative, cultured and free society”, during the ceremony of the Euskadi Literature Awards 2019 to Ramón Eder , Daniel Innerarity, Juan Carlos Etxegoien, Xamar; Isabel Etxeberria, Irati Elorrieta, Patxi Zubizarreta and Asisko Urmeneta.

The gala, held in the Prism of the San Sebastian international center of contemporary culture Tabakalera, and which was enlivened with a performance of music and dance, was also attended by the president of the Basque Parliament, Bakartxo Tejería; the Basque Minister of Culture and Language Policy, Bingen Zupiria, the general deputy of Gipuzkoa, Markel Olano, and the mayor of San Sebastian, Eneko Goia, among other characters in the public sphere.

Ramón Eder was awarded in the category of Literature in Spanish for his book of aphorisms Lonely palm trees (Editorial Renacimiento), while Daniel Innerarity saw his essay recognized Policy for the perplexed in the Essay in Spanish category; Irati Elorrieta, for the book in Basque Neguko Argiak in Literature in Basque, and Patxi Zubizarreta by Korri, Kuru, Korri! in Children and Youth Literature.

Xamar was awarded for Etxera bidean (Pamiela) in Essay in Basque; Isabel Etxeberria, for her translation of stories by Alice Munro Etsaiak, lagunak, ezkongaiak, maitaleak, senar-emazteak (Erein-Igela) in Literary Translation into Euskara, and Asisko Urmeneta in Illustration, by AztiHitza: Xahoren biografikoa. During the event they also read and saw fragments of all the awarded works.

Iñigo Urkullu recalled that these awards seek “to recognize, in the name of Basque society, the relevance and quality of the awarded works”, but also to make them known to “attract the interest” of more people and “extend the love of reading” . The lehendakari added that the awards offer the opportunity to recognize and publicize the most important literary works of the year. “The prize is to read and enjoy these works, immerse ourselves in their pages. Live other lives. Enjoy creative ability and, above all, be freer women and men, ”he stressed.

For his part, the Minister of Culture and Language Policy, Bingen Zupiria, pointed out that “we are facing a new renaissance of Basque culture, a particularly notable flourishing in terms of cultural products in Basque. A flowering that, in order to last over time, needs two agents: creators and the public ”. In addition, the head of the Department of Culture recalled that these awards were presented this year in the capital of Gipuzkoa in the framework of the Donostiarra Festival of Literature Literaktum.

Reactions of the winners

Among the winners, Daniel Innerarity stressed that his book seeks to "contribute to the formation of an attentive, demanding and critical audience," while Xamar He referred to the "culturicide" during the Civil War and offered the prize to those who have made his work possible.

Urmeneta also thanked for the prize received, while Etxeberria appealed to the need to "visualize" the work of the translators and the "interesting moment" for which, in his opinion, he passes the translation of literature into Basque. For his part, Zubizarreta said that we must listen to "the noise" of the world and referred to the suffering of those who are forced to leave their place of origin in search of a possible better life.

Eder, who could not attend for health reasons, sent a letter that was read at the gala, thanking the prize and encouraging to approach the "little known yet" genre of aphorism. Finally, Elorrieta, visibly excited, denounced that the system does not treat caregivers or care work well and thanked those who have taken care of her during these years of intense work.

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