Saturday, May 7, 2016

Handwriting in Notebooks: Literary Notebooks

Starting April 30 and until May 8, there is a book fair in Santiago de Compostela. It is quite small this year in terms of the  number of stalls, compared to other editions, in any case. But I still enjoyed visiting the different book displays on May 3, when I also took the opportunity to go to the presentation of the book O volframio en Varilongo. Santa Comba de Xallas (1941-1963). Carmen Blanco Ramos gave a detailed presentation of the book and there were only about 9 people in attendance, therefore the atmosphere was pretty intimate and relaxed. 

I was quite happy to purchase some interesting books (almost all of them related to letters, of course) and these beautiful literary notebooks by Alvarellos Editora. Although I would gladly keep them for my own personal use, they will be traveling to different parts of the world so here's an entry to explain their meaning and significance to the recipients, translating the information the publishing house provides.

The pack of 5 notebooks

This design takes some capital letters designed by Galician writer Alfonso Daniel Rodríguez Castelao (1886 – 1950). They were designed to illustrate the book Na noite estrelecida by Ramón Cabanillas in 1926. Later, in 1970, Xosé Filgueira Valverde rescued these letters to illustrate Historias de Compostela. Castelao designed this Galician font (known today as «Letra Castelao») which was inspired by the writing appearing in the Pórtico da Gloria (cathedral of Santiago).

«Lucus» is illustrated with the Roman wall in Lugo, as seen by an artist from that town,  Xesús Blas Lourés (1926-2015) in a drawing dating from 1990. This illustration was the cover of the book Viaje a lugo. Páginas sobre la ciudad, by Álvaro Cunqueiro (2011).

«Quercus» shows the leaves from centennial trees in Carballeira de San Lourenzo, in Santiago de Compostela. This photograph was also the cover of the book Alvarellos: 30 anos de edición en Galicia (1977-2007). Rosalía de Castro, the most renowned Galician poetess, talked about these oak trees in 1880 in one of the poems of her book  Follas novas, entitled «San Lourenzo» («... I ó bosque de San Lourenzo / me encamiñei silenciosa... »).

I must confess this is my favourite. «Itálica» is a copy of an original by  Ramón Otero Pedrayo (1888-1976) which dates back to 1956 entitled «As esencias do outono». It was published in the journal  Vida gallega in December.

«Atlántida» is a humble boat which evokes the sea by Urbano Lugrís (1908-1973), a Galician painter and poet. Atlántida is also the name of a journal published in Coruña (1954-1956), and this silhouette was published in its first number (Jan.-Feb.1954) next to the poem «La balada del puerto de Os» also by Lugrís. This color, known as  «azul patinir» was very unique to Lugrís, and it was inspired by the work of 16th-century Flemish artist Xaquín Patinir. 

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