Evolution of Basque Literature

From this paper it is clear that the earliest surviving Basque literary activity traces go back to the 16th century. Nevertheless, significant production did not seem to set in up until the 17th century. Like many languages and literature, it is worth noting that Basque literature has been conditioned by the relationship between literature and language. For the Basque case of this is exacerbated through the subordination of its literature to the historical situation. Early Basque literature was produced by churchmen, as they being almost the only group who could write such a language.

As the study highlights that till the mid of the 20th century, to write Basque literature implied mostly cultivating the language of Basque to the extent that authors would inscribe in their works a defense of the language to prove its versatility and related it to other, more literary-cultivated languages. In this setting, a core aspect of Basque literary history’s purpose is the wish to establish literature’s autonomy in the context of cultural and social life. Evolutionarily, when producing Basque literature history of Basque literature one can never ignore the marks left by socio-political and sociolinguistic circumstances, since Basque literature has, to a great extent, been witness to these. Nevertheless, the evolutionary aspects and history of Basque literature offers a greater understanding of the current milestones in this literature.