• Researchers recover unpublished material collected by Cela in Asturias for his Popular Geographical Dictionary

    March 05, 2015

    The 540 files documented by the Nobel Prize in the 60´s in the Principality collect nicknames, demonyms, traditional songs or sayings from almost every Asturian council

    Camilo José Celea trabajando en su despacho en los años sesenta. Foto: Fundación Camilo José Cela
    Researchers of the Asturian Philology Seminar of the University of Oviedo and the Camilo José Cela Foundation have brought to light some unpublished materials collected by the Galician Nobel Prize in the Principality to complete his Popular Geographical Dictionary of Spain (DGPE), which was finally never published. This work, directed by philologists Ramón de Andrés and Luis Casteleiro has recovered 540 files that Cela collected including nicknames, demonyms, traditional songs or sayings used in Asturias.
    The analysis of all the material that the Galician writer collected throughout 60 years, about 30.000 files, has only taken into account those that make references to Galicia and Asturias. A website gathers all the material that Cela collected in the Principality, including 25 letters that the writer sent to people from different councils about the surveys conducted. 
    Employees of the Post Office played an essential role in the collection of information that Cela coordinated for years. The number of files of each council varies depending on the willingness and collaboration of the postman assigned to each area. There are documents related to all Asturian councils except for nine (Degaña, Grado, Morcín, Las Regueras, Ribera de Arriba, Riosa, Santo Adriano, Sariego and Yernes y Tameza)
    The files related to the Principality mean the 1,8 per cent of the total amount that Cela collected throughout the country. Popular nicknames and terms assigned to people living in a specific place are the most numerous in this documentation. 
    By virtue of the agreement signed between the University of Oviedo, through the Asturian Philology Seminar, and the «Camilo José Cela» Galician Public Foundation, all contents related to Asturias have been digitized, catalogued and published on the network.