Not long ago it began to sound among poetry readers and has already consolidated its trajectory. Xaime Martínez (Uviéu, 1993) is the last National Prize for Young Poetry with bodies lost in morgues (Ultramarinos, 2018), an original book that moves away from other works of his, such as Crossfire (Hyperion, 2014), but that keeps the good trade in language, image and rhythms. Three elements that, dominated, are usually the correct orientation to the good poem. Xaime Martínez decided to write in Asturian, after publishing some titles in Spanish. He lived for a time in Barcelona but Oviedo returned, where he researches in the faculty and prepares academic life. With his music group (La Bande), his books, his gatherings.Why have you decided not to write again in Spanish? Writing in Asturian implies constant linguistic reflection. Being all the time thinking about why I choose this, in which variant I write, what spelling I am going to use. The metric, for example, choose whether it is more similar to Spanish or has some variation. Writing in Asturian implies many decisions that can be made in the writing process, and that are a rewarding challenge for the writer. They are purely literary, or selfish reasons. And then I think that writing in Asturian contributes more to my life or to the place where I live than if I wrote in Spanish. Is it a political decision? I think the decision is not political in a strong sense. But it is political in a medium sense, in the sense that implies positioning with a social group of speakers. It implies positioning yourself with a series of historical defeats and also implies, in some sense, speaking of a language of the margins. So it does have a political sense. Has the State neglected linguistic diversity? Well, that is evident. No need to speak it. The proof is that if I had written the same book in Asturian, I would not have won the prize. Why is the Asturian not a co-official language? I don't know the answer, and I think nobody knows. The peculiarity of this issue is that until the beginning of the 20th century the situation was as follows: when it was written from the outside, when it was written from the Asturian from the outside, it was labeled within the peripheral languages; that is, Galician, Catalan, etc. That is in a lot of documentation. The first novel in Asturian, which is from the seventies of the nineteenth century, is published shortly after the first novel in Catalan. What happened at the beginning of the 20th century to change the situation? I do not know. In principle it will have to do with what part of the bourgeoisie here [of Asturias] was of non-Asturian origin. And then in the last forty years what has been lacking is political and social will, especially the PSOE. Now it seems that they changed their mind, but to know what will happen. Is there a demand from Asturian society for co-officiality? Yes. Since what year are we manifesting? Since the seventies and something seems to me. And every year it grows. Two years ago, when finally the PSOE approved to take the officiality in its program, 30,000 people went out to the street. That if anyone does not remember, the first Vox rally that started to scare people was 9,000 people. But of course, let's say that Asturianists when we demonstrate are few always. Few for the media, I say. In fact, the polls say that 55% are actively in favor of official status, only 18% are against it.As a philologist, tell me the history of the Asturian language.The Asturian language is parallel to the other languages of the peninsula. The interesting thing is that we have the first text written in romance - or in protoromance - of the peninsula, which is the kesos document. Many times they say it is written in Spanish, but that is Spanish nationalism, which is dedicated to usurping texts from other languages to build its overwhelming story. There are also legal, medieval texts, written in Asturian. Then, the first author of which we have news, although there are likely to be others before, is from the 17th century. His name is Antón de Marirreguera and he wrote poetry and plays. In the 18th, Josefa de Jovellanos, sister of Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos, wrote. In the XIX there are other authors. And in the twentieth century there are writers in the Asturian language whose intention was for the Asturian to dialogue with the rest of contemporary literature. I think it closes the stage of his writing in Spanish. What are you looking for now? It's complicated. I dont know. Of course this work is very different from what I did before. I think that at the level of language, of text structure, this book is going to mark a lot what I am going to do now. What comes will have to do with this. I already have an idea of what I want to do. It will be, I think, a long unitary poem with different parts. I have also written a book-disk in Asturian halfway between the lyric and the song called Ósculos d'agua nel Imperiu Asturianu , and that is an approach to the Asturian identity between science fiction and historiography, that of the margins . Right now I would be interested in studying identity-related matters. How does your generation contribute to Spanish poetry? Man, I think it is too soon to say so. My generation is in the process of being defined. Although we are doing something right: to resolve the conflict between the poetry of experience and the poetry of silence. And another: maybe we are reading a lot of Latin American poetry. A problem that we would have to solve is to achieve the ability to read ourselves in other languages of the State. It makes no sense that Catalan poetry is not read, I don't know, in Murcia. And what did your generation receive from the immediately previous ones? I do not know. Perhaps claim a series of names that were not being read. I think of people like Cirlot, like Álvaro Pombo. Also, of course, the fact of reading the literature written by women. What does it matter in a poem? Bob Dylan has a song in which he talks about Dante. There he refers to the poem as "burning coal." I think it's an interesting definition: burning coal ends up generating a diamond. Look, he says: " Then she opened up a book of poems / written by an Italian poet / from the 13th century / and every one of them words rang true / and glowed like burnin 'coal ". I think this could be a good definition of a good poem.
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