Alfonso Daniel Rodríguez Castelao bigraphy, stories - Writer

Alfonso Daniel Rodríguez Castelao : biography

30 January 1886 - 7 January 1950

Alfonso Daniel Rodríguez Castelao (30 January 1886 – 7 January 1950), most commonly known as simply Castelao, was a Galician writer in Galician language and one of the main symbols of Galician nationalism. As a politician, caricaturist, painter, and writer, he is one of the leading figures of Galician identity and culture, and one of the main names behind the cultural movement Xeración Nós. He was also one of the founders and president of the Partido Galeguista (Galicianist Party).

Partial bibliography

  • Cego da romería (1913)
  • Diario (1921)
  • Un ollo de vidro. Memorias d'un esquelete (1922)
  • Cousas (1926, 1929)
  • Cincoenta homes por dez reás (1930)
  • As cruces de pedra na Bretaña (1930)
  • Nós (1931)
  • Os dous de sempre (1934)
  • Retrincos (1934)
  • Galicia Mártir (1937)
  • Atila en Galicia (1937)
  • Milicianos (1938)
  • Sempre en Galiza (1944)
  • Os vellos non deben de namorarse (play represented in 1941, published posthumously in 1953)
  • As cruces de pedra na Galiza (published posthumously in 1950)

Political career (1930–1950)

Statue of Rodríguez Castelao in his adoptive city of [[Pontevedra]]

From 1930 Rodríguez Castelao's political activism intensifies even further. His life and work always revolved around politics and his Galician nationalist ideas. In his book Sempre en Galiza he states that all his works, talent and efforts would always be used for the profit of the Galician cause.

In 1930, he founded the Federación Republicana Galega ("Galician Republican Federation") at Lestrove Palace and participated in the meetings of the Partido Nacionalista Republicano Galego ("Galician Republican Nationalist Party") and in the assembly for the Federal State of Galicia. The next year he published the book Nós and became the official representative of the Partido Galeguista to the Cortes Generales. In 1934, he published Retrincos, Os Dous de Sempre and the a re-edition of Cousas.

He became member of the Real Academia Galega ("Royal Galician Academy") in 1933, and shortly after that, in 1935, he was forced into exile by the Spanish government to the Spanish city of Badajoz, in Extremadura, where he worked as a civil servant.In fact, Sempre en Galiza (1944) opens with an account of Rodríguez Castelao's days in Badajoz, and why (in his opinion) he had been sent there It was then where he began to write what would become his key work, Sempre en Galiza. In 1936 he gained a seat at the Spanish parliament, this time representing the Frente Popular alliance (Popular Front, which included the Galicianist Party).

The Civil War began whilst Rodríguez Castelao was in Madrid presenting the results of the referendum for the Galician Statute of Autonomy, which had been approved by 98 per cent of voters, and in which Castelao had played a role together with his personal friend Alexandre Bóveda. During the war he organised the Milicias Galegas ("Galician Militias") in collaboration with the Spanish Communist Party and declared his support to the government of the Spanish Republic. As the Francoist troops advanced Rodríguez Castelao moved to Valencia - where he still had time to publish Galicia Martir and Atila en Galicia - and later moved to Barcelona.

In 1938, he was sent by the Spanish government to the Soviet Union, the United States and Cuba, in order to obtain support for the Republic. From New York City he cruised to Buenos Aires, where in 1941 he performed for the first time the play Os vellos non deben de namorarse, Castelao's contribution to Galician theatre.

In 1944, while in Buenos Aires, he finished and published a work of Galician political theory: Sempre en Galiza (lit. "Always in Galicia"), which was in fact a compilation of three books (three parts) and a number of other texts. Sempre en Galiza has been considered one of the most advanced political texts of its time.Alonso Montero, X. (1975): Castelao. Madrid, Akal.Carvalho Calero, R. (1989): Escritos sobre Castelao. Sotelo Blanco, Compostela. Also in that year he became the first president of the Consello de Galiza, the Government of Galicia in exile. In 1945, together with Catalonian and Basque intellectuals in exile, he founded the magazine Galeuzca as an evocation of the political alliance of 1933 between Galicia, Catalonia and the Basque Country. In 1946 he was appointed as Minister of the Spanish Republican government in exile, living in Paris.Garrido Couceiro, X.M. (2001): "A actividade política de Castelao no exilio: Castelao ministro", in Congreso Internacional o Exilio Galego, Compostela, p. 345-352 In 1947, back in Buenos Aires and after being diagnosed with lung cancer, he published As Cruces de Pedra na Galiza.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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