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Consolidation of the basque language


With euskara batua as the new unified tongue, there were major changes in Basque literature. Basque novels and poetry shed their folkloric facets, delving instead into existentialism and modernism. Euskaltzaindia began work on developing a corpus of the language and its regulatory texts, grammar books and dictionaries. Science and research began to find expression in Basque, and the Basque Summer University paved the way for what is now the Basque Public University.

247. Euskera batua (Unified Basque). The process of unification of the Basque language, which had also been shelved after the coup, needed to be resumed. The Congress of Euskaltzaindia held in Arantzazu in October 1968 laid the foundations for linguistic unification and the definition of the new unified language, euskera batua. 248. Work by Nestor Basterretxea. 249. Jose Antonio Sistiaga (San Sebastian 1932), with his film Ere erera baleibu izik subua aruaren...1968-70, a 75-minute silent film, made by applying paint directly to the 35 mm celluloid film. 250. Before the creation of the University of the Basque Country (EHU-UPV) in 1980, Basque had already found a place in university life: in 1974 the first dissertation was given in Basque, by Jacinto Iturbe, Professor of Chemistry; the cardiologist Rikardo Arrupe read the first thesis in Basque and in the School of Chemistry at San Sebastian, the first subject began to be taught through Basque in 1976. In 1977, Koldo Mitxelena took over the recently created chair in Basque at the University School of Alava, with Henrike Knörr as his collaborator. In 1978, a specialist course in Basque Philology was created at the teacher training colleges in Bilbao and San Sebastian, and in 1979 the first complete year's studies in Biology, Geology and Chemistry were given in Basque. 251. At the start of this period, Mikel Laboa (San Sebastian 1934- 2008) released his album Haika mutil (1969). He ended it with Joxan Artze. The innovative show Ikimi-likiliklik! premiered in 1976. Like other singer-songwriters from the period, they packed squares, theatres and ball courts, helping to bring the Basque language to a wider audience through. 252. Udako Euskal Unibertsitatea (the Basque Summer University) arose out of the success of the Basque Weeks of Bayonne in 1970- 72. It held its first summer courses in Donibane Lohizune (Saint- Jean-de-Luz) in 1973. Its programmes, run in Pamplona from 1977, now functioned all year round, and enjoyed extensive scientific and social projection. 253. Pelotari (1964) and Amalur (1968) by Nestor Basterretxea and Fernando Larruquert became the first film productions with Basque theme, along with documentaries such as Navarra cuatro estaciones (1971), by Julio Caro Baroja and Navarra agreste (1972), by Rafa Treku. 254. The visual arts were going through a very interesting period in expressive terms. In painting: Rafa Ruiz Balerdi, Bixente Ameztoi, Andres Nagel, Mentxu Gal and Jose Luis Zumeta. In sculpture: Nestor Basterretxea, Remigio Mendiburu, Vicente Larrea and Ricardo Ugarte. The field of music included composers such as Jose Luis Isasa, Luis de Pablo and Agustín Gonzalez Azilu. Painting by Jose Luis Zumeta. 255. In Navarre, several intellectuals supported the Basque-speaking community, helping add to its prestige. Miguel Javier Urmeneta (Pamplona 1915-1988) was one of the promoters of the Basque Promotion Section of the Provincial Government, directed by Pedro Diez de Ultzurrun (Pamplona 1924-1994), which organised a large number of activities to help revive the language. Figures such as the ethnographer José Maria Satrustegi, José Agerre and Aingeru Irigarai worked with them on the Basque-language magazine Príncipe de Viana (1966). 256. Jon Mirande Ayphasorho (Paris, 1925-1972) from an emigrant Souletin family, wrote the striking novel Haur besoetakoa. After an initial ban, it was published in 1970 when it became a major success, with several reprints. Together with Txomin Peillen, he created the magazine Igela, euskaldun heterodoxoen errebista (1962). 257. Gabriel Aresti (Bilbao, 1933-1975) rejuvenated and modernised Basque poetry. His books Harri eta herri (1964), Euskal harria (1968) and Harrizko herri hau (1971) introduced Basque poetry into social realism, creating a new imaginary world. He also cultivated the theatre, short stories and novels, and translated many works by renowned poets. The poetry movement Uhin Berri grew up around Aresti's work. His poem Maldan behera (1959) was considered the first text in what would come to be called euskera batua, unified Basque. 258. Txillardegi, Jose Luis Alvarez Enparantza (San Sebastian, 1929), with his novel Leturiaren egunkari ezkutua (1957), brought existentialism to Basque fiction, abandoning the folkloric costumbrista tradition. An engineer and linguist, he is an emeritus professor at the UPV-EHU. Alvarez Enparantza is considered to be one of the finest Basque sociolinguists and played a decisive role in building euskera batua. 259. The crisis that hit the Basque economy in the mid-1970s brought major changes: emigration, unemployment and industrial decline affected all of the structures of the country. From 1975 on, the defenders of a Basque national identity gained greater social projection, and in the final period of the Franco regime, that movement was manifested in the arts and in culture; its leaders enthusiastically defended Basque as part of a shared heritage. The Basque language became ever more visible and there were increasing calls for it to be given official status. 260. Emblem of the first campaign promoting the social use of Basque, launched by the Provincial Government of Gipuzkoa in 1982.
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