Julio Cortázar, the author of Hopscotch, was soon seduced by the charm of the province of Pontevedra, and in his second visit to Galicia, he decided to settle down in As Rías Baixas with his wife Aurora Bernárdez. There, he devoted himself to walking, fishing and swimming in Nigrán, “like Poseidón did”. He was deeply impressed by the Miño River and the endless grapevines, and fascinated by the hórreos (typical Galician raised granaries) and cruceiros (stone crosses). Then, he could understand “the Galician-Portuguese poetry”.
Cortázar is one of the great universal authors of the literature of all times, and his works and life were greatly influenced by the province. Other outstanding writer, Jules Verne, when he arrived in the port of Vigo by chance, had the opportunity to immerse himself in some of the traditions of the town of Vigo. He enjoyed the festival of A Reconquista (the Reconquest), that commemorates the defeat of the Napoleon’s army in Vigo, and he visited the setting of the Battle of Rande. It is particularly striking that the famous writer from Nantes visited the town after publishing his masterpiece Twenty leagues Under the Sea, in which Captain Nemo roams the depths of the Ría de Vigo in his submarine Nautilus to search for the hidden treasures of the naval battle that took place in 1702.
Emilia Pardo Bazán found in the spa Balneario de Mondariz, in A Toxa Island, and in the manor Casa de Quiroga her source of inspiration. In the latter, she wrote some of the chapters of her famous work The House of Ulloa.
The artist Castelao lived the most important episodes of his life in the city of Pontevedra, and the writer María Victoria Moreno, honored this year on the Galician Literature Day, lived more than forty years in Pontevedra, the town of the Lérez River.
The writer Álvaro Cunqueiro, from the town of Mondoñedo, spent the last years of his life in Vigo. Other authors, like Francisco Fernández del Riego, also chose this city as their residence. Carlos Casares, Eduardo Blanco Amor, Celso Emilio Ferreiro, Xosé Luís Méndez Ferrín are also leading authors of Galician literature linked to the province of Pontevedra.
Concepción Arenal, a writer 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, and she spent her last years in Vigo. In fact, her mortal remains are buried in the cemetery of Pereiró. Cantares Gallegos, by the poet Rosalía de Castro, the book that would mark the beginning of the period of revitalization of the Galician language, known as Rexurdimento, was published in the city of Vigo. Today, Juan Compañel’s press house, located in the old quarter of the town, has a plaque that commemorates the publication of this masterpiece.
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.
The list of writers born in or somehow linked to the province is almost endless. However, not only remarkable writers wrote beautiful words about the landscape of the province of Pontevedra, but also other leading personalities left their impressions in journals and letters. Albert Einstein was seduced by the outstanding sunsets in As Rías Baixas. Thus, the Father of Relativity wrote, “An unparalleled colorful dusk in Vigo. The sun in the south is captivating”, when his cruise reached the port of Vigo on 29 March, 1925.