By Helena Miguélez-Carballeira

Of all of the differentiated areas comprising modern Spain, Galicia is in all likelihood the main deeply marked through political, fiscal and cultural inequities during the centuries. most likely because of the absence of a nationally conscious neighborhood bourgeoisie and the enduringly colonial buildings informing Spanish-Galician financial and cultural kin, methods of nationwide building within the zone were patchily winning. even though, Galicia's cultural distinctness is definitely recognisable to the observer, from the language spoken within the region---the modern variation of previous Galician-Portuguese---to the categorical different types of the Galician outfitted panorama, with its distinctive mix of indigenous, imported and hybrid components. the current quantity deals English-language readers an in-depth advent to the necessary points of Galician cultural historical past, from pre-historical occasions to the current day. while cognizance is given to the conventional parts of medieval tradition, language, modern background and politics, the ebook additionally privileges compelling modern views on cinema, structure, the town of Santiago de Compostela and the city traits of Galician tradition this day. Helena Miguélez-Carballeira is a Senior Lecturer in Hispanic experiences at Bangor college, and Director of the Centre for Galician reviews in Wales

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The result is an account of the Castilian-Leonese monarchs from Ramiro I (842–50) to Fernando III (1217–52), transmitted by MS BNM 8817, while a second version (MS 2497 in Salamanca University Library) simply reproduces a relatively short section of the Crónica xeral. It is known, moreover, that another version in circulation at the time – though no longer extant – influenced the Crónica de 1404 and the Portuguese Crónica Geral de 1344 compiled by Pedro de Barcelos. It was precisely this Crónica de 1404 that was to prove the greatest contribution to the historiography of the Iberian Peninsula made by Galician GALICIAN CULTURE AND WRITTEN CULTURE IN THE MIDDLE AGES 27 literature.

In fact the notion of saudade was to become a quintessential trait of Galician national aesthetics from the early twentieth century onwards, beginning with Vicente Risco’s Teoría do nacionalismo galego (Theory of Galician Nationalism) (1920), which served simultaneously as a symbol of the past splendour of the medieval lyric and as a prestigious point of reference for the recuperation of Galician literature. It is for this reason that the writers who cultivated neo-troubadour aesthetics adopted precisely those elements of the Galician-Portuguese lyric poetry that were most closely linked to the idea of a Galician Volksgeist: the cantigas de amigo, verses with refrain, literal parallelisms and naturalistic settings.

In contemporary times the influence of Galician medieval prose is evident mainly through the survival of Arthurian romances, although this phenomenon is not exclusive to Galician literature. Among the motifs and characters which the Middle Ages bequeathed to Western culture the fictional Arthurian universe stands out as having had a deep and lasting hold in many European literary traditions over the centuries, thanks above all to their circulation in the Englishspeaking world. And if the English-speaking countries see King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table as part of their legendary past, in Galicia this notion is linked to the identity discourses constructed around Atlantism and the myth of Galicia’s Celtic origins (Mejía Ruiz and López Valero 1996–7: 283).

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