(Laguardia, 1745 - ID, 1801) Famous for his moral fables, Spanish writer. Together with Tomás de Iriarte is considered the best of the fabulous Spanish; the violent enmity which arose between the two has become the history of literature.
Belonging to a noble and rich family after the first studies (conducted in the parental home) was sent to study law at the University of Valladolid, where he remained two years without reaching the conclusion of the race. In a journey of pleasure to France it is hooked on the encyclopaedists, and stayed long in French land; There are infected you the inclination to the scathing criticism of politics and religion so pleasing to the men of the century, and certain spirit libertine and skeptical that induced him to mock the privileges and to reject, even a high employment in the Court that offered him the count of Floridablanca.
On his return to Spain he married and settled first in Vergara, where participated in the Vascongada patriotic society, aiming at the dissemination of culture in the popular media, and which became President. Written Fables that serve as a reading to students of the Real patriotic Vascongado Seminario de Vergara are his best-known work. In 1781 the first five books titled Fables in Castilian versewere published in Valencia, and in 1784 appeared in Madrid the definitive version, titled moral fables and consisting of nine books with 157 Fables.
The Fables by Samaniego are inspired by the works of the classic Aesop and Phaedrus, fabulous and also La Fontaine French and English J. Gay; all of them have a didactic purpose. Fairly simple style and varied metric, many Fables stand out for their spontaneity and grace: La lechera, frogs calling for King, the birth of the mountains, the cicada and the Ant, quail, flies, ass and the pig, the Fox and the bust or camel and the flea.
The publication of the Fables of Tomás de Iriarte (who had been his friend) a year after that of his, with a prologue in which claimed that they were "the first original Fables in Spanish", irritated Samaniego and sparked a rivalry between both writers that would last his entire life. Samaniego anonymously published the satirical pamphlet comments on literary Fables original D. Tomás de Iriarte (1782) and, shortly afterwards, a parody of the poem music, also of Iriarte, titled songs to play on the violin to guise of tonadilla. They followed numerous tracts, answered with the same violence by Iriarte. However, certain volteriano spirit gave Samaniego attacks greater cruelty.
With the rise of the Bourbons to power was a centralizing process which came into dispute with the provincial institutions of the Basque country. To complicate the situation, in 1783, Samaniego was commissioned by the province of Álava to make a direct way you manage provincial court problems, although it also transacted other the Vascongada and regional affairs. In the capital, his literary activity was intense; He attended meetings and gatherings and enjoyed the friendship of noble and writers. He participated in the theatrical controversies of the time defending the neoclassical theatre and the enlightened ideology. This cultural activity was more successful than the progress of the efforts which had been entrusted. Not reached fruition the plan of a seminar for young ladies, which the Vascongada sought to establish in the city of Vitoria.
Again in Bilbao, he returned to take the reins of your Treasury quite forgotten, and to frequent the old friendships. In 1792, he decided to lead a quieter life and retired to his home town, Laguardia. Two events broke your peace of mind: on the one hand, the French invasion of the year 1793 that left oddly Guipuzcoa possessions; on the other hand, some licentious and satirical poetry earned him the beginning of an inquisitorial process in 1793. The tribunal of Logroño even ordering the arrest of the author. Samaniego averted worse consequences thanks to the influence of their friends at the highest levels.
The Fables by Samaniego
Published in 1784, the moral fables collected a total of 157 compositions, distributed in nine books and preceded by a prologue. They were composed for the students of the Colegio de Vergara, in whose pedagogic work worked. Its intention is within the didactic nature of neoclassical and illustrated literature and responded to instruct maximum aesthetic delight. They must influence the choice of the genre their knowledge of French, especially from La Fontaineliterature, although Samaniego is not a mere translator, they updated the traditional material from classical sources (Aesop and Phaedrus), increases the explanatory data and dramatizes scenes relating to the educational function that aims to.
In the development of the Fables, Alava writer follows the conventional structure, although it seeks to clearly consider the opposition between the cast through adjectives antithetical, so it discards clear moral. The formulation of morality tends to go to the end of the fable, as a sobering consequence of what happened in the episode that precedes it. Perhaps it is the moral, from the point of view of the structure, the less got aspect in Samaniego, because of its excessive expansion. He is required to be concise and brief, so that it can be recorded easily in the child mind. But Samaniego is frequently lost in rodeos useless, unlike La Fontaine, which only suggests the moral.
The type of morality of Fables is not Christian, nor even naive. Applies, the tradition, the naturalistic concept of morality. The bases are next to the ideology of Rousseau, but in reality it is an ethic of survival and struggle for life which we preach the talking animals. A morality that selfishness, revenge, cunning and mistrust have their place... Nor should we forget the rich flow of illustrated ideas or neoclassical aesthetics. Other times are simple principles of coexistence or reflections dictated by experience, pure practical value. So it is not strange that morals are so close to the philosophy of the saying and that they sometimes formulated with one of them, literally or with slight modifications by imperatives of rhyme.
In keeping with his aesthetic principles and the initial recipients of the work, Samaniego makes an outpouring of grace and simplicity in his fables. Grace gets it based on resiliency and colorism in the expression. The Fables are glazed, since not of metaphors, yes of warm and witty expressions, built upon a common language. It also plays with proverbs and popular sayings. Other traits that define their style are the absence of cultured elements, the simplicity of the vocabulary and the accumulation of nouns and verbs, signs of his concise diction.
Just like its opponent Iriarte, Samaniego attention metric resources. He tries to escape the monotony looking for a type of meaningful accommodation and some catchy musicianship. It is used with preference the silva, whose free swinging between heptasilabos and endecasilabos adapts easily to the narrative. But this does not preclude we find other stanzas as redondillas, lays, romancillos, serventesios, tenth... Without being innovative, Samaniego decorously fulfills its mission of versificador, although they can be found occasionally at the same time or rhythmic defects.
Broadly speaking it can be said that Samaniego is the author of the moral good-natured optimism and mediocre truths; all the virtues and defects of moral and didactic literature of the 18th century are contained in his book. Samaniego is the Affairs of the traditional fabulistica in an easy way, through the instrument of a sound and light verse, which gives his work a character of agility that does the work of Iriarte, although it should be noted that the purpose of both authors is different. Samaniego wrote them in order to provide examples to children's Seminary, while Iriarte intends to provide an 'education' literary, reaffirming and defending the principles and rules of the neo-classical literary taste.