Bilbao, Bizkaia. This year it will be Otto Pette by Anjel Lertxundi. The Bilbo Zaharra Euskaltegia organized, for another year, a Continuous Reading of Basque Classics at the Arriaga Theater in Bilbao. This will be the 12th edition of the initiative that takes place tomorrow, Thursday June 6th for 12 hours, beginning at 8am. The work chosen for the occasion Otto Pette is a novel by Anjel Lertxundi that is celebrating the 25th anniversary since its publication.
Around 400 people will take part in the event, among them, several public figures in Basque economy, politics and culture. As in previous years, several students of the Euskal Etxeak (Basque clubs) from the international “Euskara Munduan” prograe, coordinated by the Etxepare Basque Institute, will take part in the activity by reading some chapters by video. Altogether, students from 30 Basque clubs will read 16 chapters, lending the event an international touch.
The organizers chose Otto Pette on this occasion, “to pay tribute to an author who has made a significant contribution to Basque prose”. Lertxundi is one of the most prolific Basque authors, and this work, published in 1994, is one of his most important novels. Experts have said that Otto Pette is fascinating in that the author invented the imaginary world without using any reference from actual reality, or that it is reminiscent of traditional literature from the Northern Basque Country (in France).
The reading will be part of a larger festivity called the Basque Students Festival, and the day will culminate with a traditional Basque music concert. The events will be spread over more than one day. There will be more conferences and discussions during the year at the headquarters of Euskaltziandia (the institute of Basque language), where several experts and authors will talk about the selected novel: Anjel Lertxundi himself, Bernardo Atxaga, Jorge Giménez, Itxaro Borda and Danele Sarriugarte are some of them.
The Reading of Classics initiative has selected the following works in previous editions: Gero by Axular; Peru Abarka by Juan Antonio Mogel; Haur besoetakoa by Jon Mirande; Hamaika Pauso by Ramon Saizarbitoria; Zergatik panpox by Arantxa Urretabizkaia; Obabakoak by Bernardo Atxaga; Harri eta Herri by Gabriel Aresti; Narrazio Guztiak by Joseba Sarrionandia; Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka; 100% Basque by Itxaro Borda and, finally, last year, Kresala by Txomin Agirre.