This article explores many of the ways in which performance of a modern Basque pastorale, or morality play—an art form with medieval roots—explores issues and conundrums of contemporary Basque society and culture. These include maintenance of the Basque language and identity, the attitude of Basques towards others, notably Spaniards and gypsies, and vice versa, and the survival of Basque rural life in the face of the many challenges to it. Karmen Etxalarkoa Pastorala is but the most recent recounting of the tragedy of Carmen, the quintessential gypsy of Prosper Merimée’s novel and Bizet’s opera. In the work, she claims descent from the Navarrese village of Etxalar, and her ill-fated lover, José Lizarrabengoa, is from the adjacent Valley of Baztan. I interweave my own mid-twentieth-century anthropological research in Etxalar with the biographies of local residents and that of the pastorale’s author, Gerardo Mungia, as a ploy for narrating the genesis and significance of Karmen Etxalarkoa Pastorala, not to mention its many ironies.
Douglass, William A.
"The Canonization of Carmen: Reflections on a Basque Pastorale,"
BOGA: Basque Studies Consortium Journal: Vol. 8
, Article 1.
Available at: https://scholarworks.boisestate.edu/boga/vol8/iss1/1