Vicente Martínez-Risco y Agüero

Category: Writer, etnographer, political activist
Birth Date: 1st October 1884 (†1963)
Birth Place: Ourense

He studied Law at Santiago University taking his degree in 1906. He was admitted to the local tax office in Ourense and took part in the office in the newspaper El Miño. He travelled to Madrid and went in for teaching coming back to Ourense to work as a History teacher. In 1917 he founded the literary magazine La Centuria, where the other members of the group of Ourense also collaborated. This year he became a supporter of Galician autonomy through Antón Loada Diéguez, who was a member of the Irmandades da Fala. In 1920 the magazine Nós was founded and he published in A Nosa Terra the essay Teoría do nazonalismo galego, which made him have more and more influence in the Irmandades. Thus, his political theory was reflected in many nationalist publications such as A Nosa Terra, Nós, Rexurdimento and in newspapers of that time such as La Zarpa (Ourense) and El Pueblo Gallego (Vigo). In 1930 he travelled to Central Europe to study etnography and folklore. After the war he would devote himself totally to these studies in his native city. He always wrote in Galician language except for his productions after the military mutiny in 1936 in the Historia de Galicia, directed by Otero Pedrayo, in the translation of La Familia de Pascual Duarte and in an etnography congress in Portugal and homage to Florentino Cuevillas as well.

 Work & Activities

NARRATIVE His narrative has an intellectual character, which is bound together with his essay production, being a continuation of his philosophical ideas. It is a narration that criticises the occultist themes in the text. O lobo da xente and A trabe de ouro e a trabe de alquitrán (1925) were published in the collection Lar. They are two short narrations about Galician etnography. A coutada (1926) is a sort of philosophical dialogue. It develops the necessity to go back to the own land as the only escape to maladjustment. Os europeos in Abrantes (1927) is a satire towards places and people from Ourense. Only some chapters of this book were published in the magazine Nós (number 39th and 40th). O porco de pé (1928) is a long novel, which can be considered the top of Risco's narrative. The book is a satirical view of the social structures in Ourense. The novel is rather a synthesis of Risco's thought. In this novel he gathered the ideas, which would be developed in his essay work. ESSAY In his essay production we can distinguish three stages which also mark his intellectual evolution: a) The first stage (before 1920) is explained by Risco himself in Nós, os inadaptados (Nós, 1933). In this essay he studies the ideological evolution of his generation group and shows their literary and artistic styles. b) The second stage (from 1920 to 1934) starts when he became a supporter of Galician autonomy, when he joined the Irmandades da Fala and the foundation of the magazine Nós. He is the most important ideologist of the movement until the beginning of the civil war publishing Teoría do nacionalismo galego. It is a book that extols Galicia by means of the language, the land and the race. c) The third stage (from 1934 to 1963) starts with the chronicles of his journey to Central Europe. They were published in Nós and most of them would be compiled in a book titled the Mitteleuropa (1934) In 1961 he published Leria, which gathered works from 1920 to 1955, some of them slightly modified. It is a collection of philosophical and critical-literary texts, which consists of essays such as O sentimento da terra na raza galega; Nós, os inadaptados; Dédalus en Compostela, and so forth. THEATRE Vicente Risco wrote an only theatre play: O bufón de El-Rei (1928). It is a four-sketch drama. The action takes place in the Middle Ages. The work can be considered as a study of physical and moral deformity and their interrelation.

 Other Interesting Aspects

The Galician Academy dedicated him ?O Día das Letras Galegas? (The Day of the Galcian Letters) in 1981.