As Rías Baixas, a literary paradise
Jules Verne immersed himself in the beauty of As Rías Baixas. He used to read the press in the Café Suízo, in Vigo, he saw the procession of the Cristo da Victoria, in Vigo, and he sailed to see the setting of the Battle of Rande. But he was not the only universal writer who would fall in love with this land.
Julio Cortázar visited Galicia twice and wrote about its landscape, culture and way of life. "I have promised myself, if I ever have a car deux chevaux, to take Aurora to Galicia, stay in the town of Redondela during the spring, and devote myself to walking around, fishing and cultivating plants, as Rousseau did."
Verne, creator of fantastic worlds, could not imagine "anything more impressive than the bay of Vigo, a vast lake surrounded by mountains"
Cortázar praised the "endless grapevines" of As Rías Baixas, "with the grapevines hanging on granite pillars, as if they were small dolmens shining on a green background". On his train journey back to León he got deeply impressed by the Miño River. He wrote in one of his letters, "Looking through the train window, I could not imagine that it was true. Then I could understand all the Galician-Portuguese poetry". In his second visit to Galicia he stayed in Nigrán and he "swam like Poseidón" in the beach Praia América, and enjoyed his time visiting hórreos (typical Galician raised granaries), pine groves and cruceiros (stone crosses).
Emilia Pardo Bazán was also strongly linked to As Rías Baixas, especially to the spa Balneario de Mondariz. She spent time there, where she wrote some of her works, he collaborated in different publications about the thermal resource and she wrote in the Book of Honour of the spa: "Who is able to know how many unshed tears, how many stuck thoughts, how many nights of insomnia and how many hours of lecture will these waters dilute in the entrails of the active and determined people who come to drink them?."
Cortázar, who "swam like Poseidón" in Nigrán, dreamed about staying there with his wife, going fishing and walking around As Rías Baixas
Emilia Pardo Bazán would live in the spa some of her episodes of love for another great writer, Benito Pérez Galdós. She also visited other places in As Rías Baixas. In the Casa de Quiroga (in the place of Quintela, in Catasós, in the region of Deza) she wrote some chapters of her famous novel Os pazos de Ulloa. In her literary works she also mentions the region of Deza, as in her work Propatria (1913), where she writes about the Pazo de Liñares.
Another great writer, Concepción Arenal, from Ferrol, had a special bond with the province. She lived in the capital of the province for a year, where a literary gathering would be later organized. She spent her last years in Vigo, where her mortal remains are buried, in the cemetery of Pereiró. Another famous writer from Ferrol, Gonzalo Torrente Ballester, also stayed in the province, in the cities of Vigo and Pontevedra. The TV series Los gozos y las sombras, adapted from his trilogy of books, was broadcasted on the Spanish TV with a great success.
María Vinyals was born in Pontevedra. The writer, strongly committed to defend women's rights, was in love with the province, and she described it with beautiful words: "(…) After having experienced other climates and having admired other landscapes, you realise that there is nothing in the world that could be compared to the province of Pontevedra, the garden of Spain, a beautiful paradise in Galicia".
Born in the region of Extremadura, but from Pontevedra by adoption
The writer María Victoria Moreno, honoured this year on the Galician Literature Day, was born in the region of Extremadura but was adopted by the town of Pontevedra. She was a teacher in the secondary schools Valle-Inclán and Torrente Ballester, which keep around 4,500 books which were part of the author's library. The author of Festa no Faiado was deeply in love with the Galician culture and language.
Galicia seduced María Victoria Moreno, strongly linked to Pontevedra and honoured this year on the Galician Literature Day
Ramón María del Valle-Inclán, who created the Spanish literary style esperpento, was born in the town of Vilanova de Arousa, where we can visit today his House-Museum. This setting was the source of inspiration for his work La lámpara maravillosa. He also was bond to other towns in the province, such as Pontevedra or Cambados, where he would move to take some time to rest. During his stay in Pontevedra, where he participated in literary gatherings, his first book, Femeninas, was issued.
The book Cantares Gallegos by Rosalía de Castro, which is the starting point of the Galician literary period known as Rexurdimento, was issued in the city of Vigo
The first work of the period of revitalization of the Galician language after the seculos escuros (dark days), known as Rexurdimento, was published in the city of Vigo. The press house Compañel, in Vigo, issued several works by Rosalía de Castro, among them Cantares Gallegos, in 1863.
The list of writers born in or linked to the province is almost endless. Gonzalo Torrente Ballester, Ramón Cabanillas, Bernardino Graña, Eduardo Blanco Amor, Francisco e Julio Camba, Álvaro Cunqueiro, Fina Casalderrey, José Filgueira Valverde, Francisco Fernández del Riego, Luis Amado Carballo, Celso Emilio Ferreiro, Fermín Bouza Brey or Fina Casalderrey are some of the most important writers linked to As Rías Baixas.