The Basque Country: A Cultural History

The Basque Country: A Cultural History

by Paddy Woodworth
     
 

The Basque Country is a land of fascinating paradoxes and enigmas. Home to one of Europe's oldest peoples and most mysterious languages, with a living folklore rich in archaic rituals and dances, it also boasts a dynamic modern energy, with the reinvention of Bilbao creating a model for the twenty-first-century city.

In The Basque Country, Paddy Woodworth takes

See more details below

Overview

The Basque Country is a land of fascinating paradoxes and enigmas. Home to one of Europe's oldest peoples and most mysterious languages, with a living folklore rich in archaic rituals and dances, it also boasts a dynamic modern energy, with the reinvention of Bilbao creating a model for the twenty-first-century city.

In The Basque Country, Paddy Woodworth takes us on a sweeping tour of this enchanting land. We discover a small territory which abounds in big contrasts, ranging from moist green valleys to semi-desert badlands, from snowy sierras to sandy beaches, from harsh industrial landscapes to bucolic beech woods. The book reveals how this often idyllic scenery forms the backdrop for a land of ancient and modern culture, where Basque poets still compose spontaneous stanzas in public contests and where strange age-old sports—rock lifting, goose decapitation—are still held at fiestas. Likewise, the region has made important contributions to modern culture, through novelists like Bernardo Atxaga, sculptors like Eduardo Chillida, painters like Zuluoaga, and cineastes like Julio Medem. And of course Bilbao's flagship museum, the Guggenheim, designed by Frank O. Gehry, may be the best work of architecture of the last century.

Here then is a marvelous guide to the culture and landscape of one of the most intriguing places on Earth.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195328004
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
12/27/2007
Series:
Landscapes of the Imagination Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
659,383
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 5.40(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

Contents
Acknowledgements
Preface
Introduction - Land of stone, iron, glass: Land of the Basques
Chapter One. Where are we, exactly? And what will we call this place?
Chapter Two. A short version of a long history: From the stone age to the Civil War
Chapter Three. Bai, bai, Urdaibai: cave paintings, painted trees, tree of Gernika
Chapter Four. The fronton at the heart of life: the power and beauty of pelota
Chapter Five. Cinco Villas: Pio Baroja, flying Mari, sword dances, and sorcery
Chapter Six. Gastronomy: some answers to the most urgent Basque question
Chapter Seven. Wow, Bilbao! The transformation of a tough city
Chapter Eight. From the music of labor, to music as a labor of love
Chapter Nine. Obaba in Asteasu: the Basque village as a literary universe
Chapter Ten. Gudari for God
Chapter Eleven. Serious Fun: fiestas in Laguardia
Chapter Twelve. Don't mention the war: the dark side of Basque - and Spanish - politics
Chapter Thirteen. Bay of Biscay: whales, Belle Epoque, decapitated geese, sexual politics
Chapter Fourteen. Living in shadowlands: Basque, but not Basque nationalist
Chapter Fifteen. Navaree - heartland or hinterland?
Chapter Sixteen. Mountain high: pleasure and penitence and pagan gods
Chapter Seventeen. Iparralde: the Basques on the other side of the mountains
Afterword

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >