This article was translated by John R. Bopp
We’re not sure any Basque media remembered that on today, October 12, in 1745, Félix María Samaniego, famous for his “fables”, was born in Laguardia (though raised in Samaniego, where his family home is). Some media outlets in South America have. We’re linking to the article in El Siglo de Torreón, which we’ve cited before when they wrote about the Basque origins of the liberator of Mexico and the creator of that country’s flag.
Félix María Samaniego belongs to that generation of Basques that rode on horseback in the 18th and 19th centuries, watching the end of the Absolutist state era and the beginnings of the developments of the Nation-state. Those Basques, steeped in the principles of the Enlightenment, set in motion the Real Sociedad Vascongada de Amigos del País (the Royal Basque Society of Friends of the Country), along with several other initiatives that sought to develop Basque society and prepare it for the changes that were quite obviously coming. Among those other initiatives is the Real Seminario Patriótico Bascongado de Bergara (Royal Basque Patriotic Seminary of Bergara), which Félix was the director of on two occasions.
It was the Basques who sought to fit the Basque reality into the new political and ideological structures that were being created. They undoubtedly figured it out, but they were not listened to at the time by those who were making the decisions to put an end to the foral system and started a conflict over sovereignty that continues to this day.
On both sides of the Pyrenees, top-level Basque intellectuals were trying to figure out how to fit the fueros and Basque sovereignty into the nation-states that were being created. They did not fail in finding that way out, but they did fail to make those who had the power in their hands to do things well or not understand. Or maybe they did understand, but preferred to ignore those solutions, convinced that when dealing with the Basques, force could finish off any right.
The Convention was organized south of the Pyrenees, and the Liberals almost got it organized to the north, as well. Regardless, on either side, force was not able to finish off the Will of the Basque People.
El Siglo de Torreón – 12/10/2015 – Mexico
1745: Llega al mundo el reconocido fabulista Félix María Samaniego
Félix María Serafín Sánchez de Samaniego Zabala, por su nombre completo, nació en Laguardia, España, el 12 de octubre de 1745 en el seno de una familia acomodada, que le permitió dedicarse al estudio. Eustaquio Fernández, su principal biógrafo, afirma que estudió en un colegio en Francia, aunque no especifica cuál. Más tarde cursó en Peñaflorida y llegó a formar parte de la Sociedad Bascongada de Amigos del País, fundada por Peñaflorida, su tío abuelo, donde leyó sus primeras fábulas. La primera colección de las mismas fue publicada en Valencia en 1781.