The year that will celebrate the long life and enormous work of Menéndez Pidal begins | Culture

The year that will celebrate the long life and enormous work of Menéndez Pidal begins | Culture

Celebrate and remember the vast work of a personality like Ramón Menéndez Pidal (1869-1968), philologist and historian, who did not stop studying and writing until almost the end of his century of life, is the ambitious company of Bienio pidalino (2018-2019), organized by the foundation that bears the name of this wise and presented on Monday in the auditorium of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE). The president of the Ramón Menéndez Pidal Foundation, Jesús Antonio Cid, has announced the acts that will take place in the coming months to honor the director of the RAE between 1925 and 1936 and between 1947 and 1965, author of works such as Spanish ballads. The biennium will coincide with the 50th anniversary of his death and, in 2019, with the 150th anniversary of his birth in La Coruña.

The first opening will be the opening, on May 23, 2019, of the exhibition Two Spaniards in history, in the National Library, where the figures of Menéndez Pidal and el Cid will be confronted. The Galician researcher, although considered to be Asturian, has precisely in The Spain of the Cid one of his key works. Another exhibition will follow, in June, at the Cervantes Institute, The trips of Ramón Menéndez Pidal: Scales in the diffusion of Spanish, about his work in the dissemination of Spanish in America. While in September, the jubilations of the biennium will be moved to Granada, to remember in a sample at the university the journey that Menéndez Pidal made for the gypsy neighborhoods of the Andalusian city, accompanied by a then young poet, Federico García Lorca, to soak up of the popular versions of romaces.

In the act of this Monday, which counted on the interventions of the director of the RAE, Darío Villanueva, of the academics Juan Gil, Inés Fernández-Ordóñez and Pedro Álvarez de Miranda, of Aurora Egido, secretary of the institution, and finalized with a small recital by singer-songwriter Amancio Prada, the president of the Ramón Menéndez Pidal Foundation also announced some of the publications that will be part of the biennium. Among them, a volume with the correspondence with Américo Castro, "more than 300 letters written over 50 years, some very extensive, eight pages, with insights on their contemporaries", and an unpublished book by Menéndez Pidal, prepared From the lectures he gave on his teacher, the philologist and historian Marcelino Menéndez Pelayo, "a study not exempt from criticism".

Finally, Cid trusted that the long year that now begins to recall this fundamental figure of Spanish philology also serves to "highlight exemplary aspects of their work, such as teamwork or teaching to quote others." As well as nuancing the human image of this humanist, "sometimes seen as someone severe and cold." A wise man, as the poet and academic Damaso Alonso, who directed the RAE between 1968 and 1982, surprised him one day when he told him that he had bought books again, something that he had stopped doing because he thought his time was approaching. Menéndez Pidal not only returned to buy works he read, despite being blind in one eye and with little in the other. With 94 years, he came to publish a study that caused great controversy and stir about the figure of Fray Bartolomé de las Casas.


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