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Sabino de Arana
Translated by Blas Uberuaga and Robert Allenger
This article was translated by Blas Uberuaga and Robert
Allenger. The English may still be somewhat rough. If anyone
has corrections, feel free to let me know.
(from the Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Basque Country)
Arana Goiri, Sabino de
Politician, writer and Bizkain representative. He was born on the 26
of January, 1865 in the republic of Abando, which in 1890 was anexed
by Bilbo. The vicisitudes of the Carlist war in which his father, the
recruiter Santiago de Arana, was implicated, forced them to emigrate
to Lburdi in 1873, when he was 8 years old. In 1876 the family
returned to Bizkaia and Sabino de Arana was sent to the college of the
Jesuit Priests of Orduna, where worked on a bachelor's degree. In
1882, convalescent in his house in Abando, the discussions with his
brother Luis took him away from carlismo fuerista to nationalism.
Upon the abolishment of the Basque code of laws, Santiago de Arana
died of disgust. Dona Pascuala de Goiri decided to move with her sons
to Barcelona. Her sister Paulina is the chronicler of the family; in
her "Memorias" (memoirs), published, in part, she also describes to us
the azarosa period which touched her life. Luis studied architecture
and Sabino law, philosophy, and natural letters and sciences. In
1888, the mother of the Arana brothers died in Barcelona. The family
moved to Bizkaia bringing the remains of dona Pascuala de Goiri.
After his five years of official studies, he carried on in his home
studying intensely the topics that interested him. Until 1892, the
year in which is first work "Bizkaya por su Independencia" (Bizkaya
for its Independence) appeared, he had dedicated himself to the study
of history, legislation, language, socio-political problems, and to
the meditation of the way to restore the private Basque laws. In 1886
he founded the editorial "Bizkaya'ren Edestija ta Izkera Pizkundia"
(Rebirth of the History and Language of Bizkaia). From 1886 to 1893
he published works of linguistic, historic, literary and renaissance
character. His acutacion political began after his discourse of the
caserio Larrazabal, in Begnoa, and the apperance of "Bizkaitarra", in
this same year. In 1894 he founded the society "Euzkeldun Batzokija",
the first nationalist center. These two years, 1893-1894, are those
of his political initiation, active and polemic, those during which
give rise to manifestations, sanctions, prisons, and lawsuits. In
1898 he was elected provincial representative of Bilbo. In 1899 he
founded the daily "El Correo Vasco" (The Basque Mail) which only
published 103 issues. In proportion as his publications fell he
substituted them with other new ones and continued his intense
political fight. Sabino de Arana was on of the pioneers of the
social-Christianism and founder of the Basque Nationalist Party. In
the Congreso Ortografico de Hendaya of September 16, 1901, with the
objective of forming the basis for unification of Basque orthography,
he was named vice-president en union de Arturo Campion, assisting
personalities such as Iturralde y Suit, Arrese-Beitia, Luis de Arana y
Goiri, Serapio Mugica, Estanislao de Aranzadi, R. M. de Azkue,
Telesforo de Aranzadi, Juan Carlos Guerra, Domingo Aguirre and others.
Advancing himself in 5 years to the Congreso de Hendaya, he had
published in 1896 his work "Lecciones de Ortografia del Euzkera
Bizkaino". On September 11, 1902, the Congreso revened in
Fuenterrabia and the society Eskual Zaleen Biltzarra was created,
which still subsists, and of which he was vicepresident, also with
Arturo Campion. The orthographic system of Arana y Goiri was fiercely
combated. But, 14 years after his death, the recently created
Academia de la Lengua Vasca or Euskalzaindia, adopted the definitive
orthographic system for Euskera, based on that of Arana y Goiri and
the writers Azkue, Bonaparte, Oihenart, Darrigol and Duvoisin. With
this a rational and clear orthography was established which has served
the renacentsitas (renassiancists?) in their books, magazines and
newspapers. Euskaltzaindia, constructed by the founders of our
Euskera renaissance, so recognized the euskeralogical work of Arana,
surpassing the personal differences with Adema, Azkue and Campion,
crudely expressed in the press of that time. Sabino Arana, in July of
1886, had published in "Euskal Erria" his article "El Proyecto de
Academia Bascongada del Sr. de Artinano", supporting what this man had
presented at the Basque Festivals of the same year in Durango. His
poetic work crystallizes in 33 hymns, poems and songs; his combative
journalism in more than 600 articles and his Basque, literary and
political works published during his life were 14. Remain scattered
in particular collections and many of his letters have been lost.
Agosted by 17 years of fighting, he left prison gravely sick, dying in
Sukarrieta on November 25, 1903, at the age of 38.
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