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Basque Literature

Code: 103387 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2501801 Catalan and Spanish OT 3 0
2501801 Catalan and Spanish OT 4 0
2501902 English and Catalan OT 3 0
2501902 English and Catalan OT 4 0
2501907 English and Classics OT 3 0
2501907 English and Classics OT 4 0
2501910 English and Spanish OT 3 0
2501910 English and Spanish OT 4 0
2501913 English and French OT 3 0
2501913 English and French OT 4 0
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.


Jon Elordi Acordarrementer

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
catalan (cat)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:


No previous knowledge of Basque is required.

Objectives and Contextualisation

The subject is proposed as an introduction to literature in Basque. We will offer a very important place to oral literature because, on the one hand, it is coming out of a situation of undervaluation with respect to written literature (not only in Basque), on the other hand, it shows us a very old globalisation where Basque forms part of Western culture and, lastly, it is an important model for writers. Within written literary production, we will deal with the whole of the 20th and 21st century, especially from the 1960s onwards. In relation to the treatment of the contents, there will be basic theoretical and descriptive explanations, but we will have to make works that go further, trying to link themes related to the reality of the students; to achieve this, we will have to make comparative works. We will also work transversally on themes that span many eras and authors (the gender perspective, eroticism, religion, social and political issues, attitudes towards universal literature, nature, the city, love, exile, the autobiography reflected in literature...). Therefore, in addition to the general bibliography, we will use an extensive dossier and a specifically created questionnaire.


    Catalan and Spanish
  • Identify the mainstream literary and aesthetic trends in the history of Basque literature.
    English and Catalan
  • Identify the mainstream literary and aesthetic trends in the history of Basque literature.
    English and Classics
  • Identify the mainstream literary and aesthetic trends in the history of Basque literature.
    English and Spanish
  • Identify the mainstream literary and aesthetic trends in the history of Basque literature.
    English and French
  • Identify the mainstream literary and aesthetic trends in the history of Basque literature.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Assess the position of Basque literature in literature.
  2. Describe the historical and thematic evolution of Basque literature.
  3. Relate basque literature to other cultural and artistic expressions of Basque society.


Despite the fact that in the following scheme the subjects appear totally separated, the treatment in the classes will not necessarily be chronological or isolated, but plural and integrating.


1.1. Characteristics and situation of the Basque Country, Euskara and Basque literature (minority language, marginalisation, difficulties and opportunities for creating and developing a Basque literary system...)

1.2. Gender perspectives


2.1. Relevance of oral literature

2.1.1. From underestimation to major field of study

2.1.2. World heritage, or at least, western heritage

2.1.3. Source for Basque writers and artists

2.2. Concepts specific to orality

2.2.1. Indirect expression: indicia and symbolism

2.2.2. Topical or recurring motifs

2.2.3. System of values

2.2.4. Formal characteristics of oral 'texts'

2.3. Types of Basque oral literature

2.3.1. Ballads

2.3.2. Popular lyric of the 18th century

2.3.3. Stories

2.3.4. Popular theatre

2.3.5. Bertsolaritza


3.1. The sources of Basque writers

3.1.1. Oral literature

3.1.2. Contemporary accessible literature

3.1.3. Previous Basque written works (in general, few pioneers)

3.2. The exiguous Basque classical literature: XVI-XIX centuries

3.3. End of the 19th century and 20th and 21st centuries

3.3.1. Something resembling Romanticism

3.3.2. Renaissance of the pre-war period

3.3.3. Post-war darkness

3.3.4. (Re)beginning of modern Basque culture

3.3.5. The charm of experimentation

3.3.6. Climbing the summit

3.3.7. The waters in their course


1) Learning based on explanations and readings

2) Practical exercises

3) Practical sessions of correction and follow-up of the exercises

4) Exercises and problems to be solved autonomously

5) Preparation and drafting of reference book reviews

6) Personal study

7) Presentation, follow-up and correction of exercises and works


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Learning based on explanations and readings. Practical exercises. 36 1.44 2, 3, 1
Type: Supervised      
Practical sessions of correction and follow-up of the exercises. Presentation, follow-up and correction of exercises and works. 8 0.32 2, 3, 1
Type: Autonomous      
Exercises and problems that have to be solved autonomously. Personal study. 20 0.8 2, 3, 1


There will be no final exam!

We will use a continuous evaluation model, which will assess the progressive acquisition of knowledge, daily work and participation:

* Throughout the course two papers related to the subject questionnaire will be delivered (each paper will weigh 28% of the overall mark). Submitting these papers later than the established dates means that their score will not be out of 10, but out of 8.5.

* During the course you will have to submit a work done individually or in groups of two people of about 12-15 pages on oral literature, specifically on the ballads "Frantziako andrea - The bad mother-in-law" or "Atharratzeko andrea- The lady of Atharratze" (this work will weigh 37% of the overall mark). Submitting the work later than the established date means that its score will not be 100%, but 85%.

* The rest (0.7 points of the total) will be in relation, on the one hand, with class attendance, daily work, participation and attitude (0.4 points); and on the other hand, with participation in tutoring the work on the ballads (0.3 points). Not taking part in this tutorial means not obtaining all of these 0.7 points of the overall mark. If, eventually, there is the possibility of organizing conferences or other types of activities complementary to the classes, these activities also score.

* Any unacceptable practice (handing in work other than that requested, identity fraud, very bad writing, copying in exams, etc. implies the absolute suspension of the subject).

In the event of a student committing any irregularity that may lead to a significant variation in the grade awarded to an assessment activity, the student will be given a zero for this activity, regardless of any disciplinary process that may take place. In the event of several irregularities in assessment activities of the same subject, the student will be given a zero as the final grade for this subject.

A student who has completed less than 2/3 of the evaluation activities will be considered 'NOT EVALUABLE'.

To participate in the re-assessement, the student must have been previously assessed in a series of activities whose weight equals a minimum of 2/3 of the total grade. Only those students who, having failed, have at least a median final grade of 3.5 are entitled to re-assessement. Some tasks cannot be re-assessed (participation in class, oral presentations, exercises made in class).

In the event that tests or exams cannot be taken onsite, they will be adapted to an online format made available through the UAB’s virtual tools (original weighting will be maintained). Homework, activities and class participation will be carried out through forums, wikis and/or discussion on Teams, etc. Lecturers will ensure that students are able to access these virtual tools, or will offer them feasible alternatives.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Attendance and participation 7 4 0.16 2, 3, 1
Work on Basque oral literature 37 40 1.6 2, 3, 1
Work related to the subject questionnaire 56 42 1.68 2, 3, 1


Aldekoa, Iñaki, 1991, Euskal poesiaren antologia.Antología de la poesía vasca, Visor, Madrid.

______, 2004, Historia de la literatura vasca, Erein, Donostia.

Etxeberria, Hasier, 2002, Cinco escritores vascos, Alberdania, Irun.

Ezkerra, Estibalitz, 2011, Euskal Literatura / Literatura Vasca /Basque Literature, Donostia: Etxepare Euskal Institutua.

Euskaltzaindia, 1977, El libro blanco del euskara, Euskaltzaindia, Bilbo. [Hum. 2ª pl. 809.169 Lib; Hum. 2ª pl. D 809/148]

Garzia, J., Egaña, A, & Sarasua, J., 2001, El arte del bertsolarismo: realidad y claves de la improvisación oral vasca, Bertsozale Elkartea, Donostia.

Izagirre, Koldo, 1997, Incursiones en territorio enemigo, Pamiela, Iruñea.

Juaristi, Jon, 1987, Literatura vasca, Taurus, Madrid. [Hum. 2ª pl. 891.69.09 Jua; Hum. 2ª pl. 860.1 His/29]

Kortazar, Jon, 1990, Literatura vasca, siglo XX, Etor, Donostia.

______, 1999, La pluma y la tierra. Poesía vasca contemporánea (1975-1995), Prames, Zaragoza.

______, 2003, Literatura vasca desde la Transición: Bernardo Atxaga, Ediciones del Orto & Universidad de Minnesota.

______, 2006, Montañas en la niebla. Poesía vasca de los años 90, DVD poesía, Barcelona.

Kortazar, Jon & Miren M. Billelabeitia, 2002, Euskal baladak eta kantu herrikoiak / Baladas y canciones tradicionales vascas, Centro de Lingüística Aplicada Athenea, Madrid.

López Gaseni, José Manuel, 2002, Historia de la literatura vasca, Acento Editorial, Madrid.

Mitxelena, Koldo, 2001 [1960, Minotauro, Madrid], Historia de la literatura vasca, Erein, Donostia.

Mujika, Luis Mari, 1979, Historia de la literatura euskérica, Luis Haramburu, Zarautz.

Olaziregi, Mari Jose, 2005, Pintxos. Nuevos cuentos vascos, Lengua de trapo, Madrid.

______, 2005, Waking the Hedgehog. The Literary Universe of Bernardo Atxaga, Center for Basque Studies, Reno

______, 2006, Six Basque poets. New voices from Europe and Beyond, Arc. Todmorden.

______, 2011, Historia de la literatura Vasca, in http://www.basqueliterature.com/basque/historia

Orpustan, Jean Baptiste, 1996, Précis d'histoire littéraire basque: 1545-1950: cinq siècles de littérature en euskara, Izpegi, Baigorri.

Otamendi, Jose Luis, (ed.), 1996, Desde aquí. Antología del cuento vasco actual, Hiru, Hondarribia. [Hum 2ª pl891.69 A-32 “19” Des]

Sarasola, Ibon, 1976, Historia Social de la Literatura Vasca. Akal, Madrid. [Reed. en 1982].[Hum 2ª pl. 891.69(091) Sar]

Torrealdai, Juan Mari, 1977, Euskal idazleak gaur. Historia social de la lengua y literatura vascas, Ed. Franciscana de Arantzazu, Oñati. [Hum. 2ª pl. 891.69(091) Tor]

______, 1997, Euskal kultura gaur: liburuaren mundua, Jakin, Oñati.

Urquizu, Patricio, 1992, Antología de la literatura vasca, UNED, Madrid. [Multimedia, Hum. 3ª pl. E. 891/1]

______ (dir.), 2000, Historia de la literatura vasca, UNED, Madrid.

Villasante,Luis, (dir.) 1972, Literatura vasca, [de la colecc. Tesoro breve de las letras hispánicas VI / Mosaico español 1de Guillermo Díaz-Plaja], Magisterio español. Madrid. [Hum. 2ª pl. 891.6A Lit]

______, 1979 2ª ed. aumentada [1ª ed. 1961, Sendo, Bilbo], Historia de la literatura vasca, E.F.A. Oñati.

VVAA, 1989, Congreso de literatura hacia la literatura vasca, II Euskal Mundu-Biltzarra / II Congreso Mundial Vasco, Castalia, Madrid. [Hum. 2ª pl. 891.69:061.3 Con]

VVAA, 1998, Letras vascas hoy, monográfico de Ínsula, nº 623. [Hum.- Revistes sala Fol/ 2; Montserrat- Revistes DR-12/1-2[1164]; Centre Borja- Revistes Per.F-2]

VVAA, 2003, Literatura vasca actual, monográfico de Quimera, nº 234. [Hum.- Revistes sala 8/292; Comunic -P4- Hemeroteca 82/2]

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