Over the course of 2019, Basque writer Iban Zaldua and Scottish writer James Robertson took part in Chejov vs Shakespeare, a project promoted by the Etxepare Basque Institute as part of the Scotland Goes Basque programme. The two authors had a months-long epistolary conversation, their letters eventually gathered in a book now available either in paper or on our website in PDF.
The Chejov vs Shakespeare project came out of the Donostia / San Sebastián 2016 European Capital of Culture but has since been brought back as part of Etxepare Basque Institute’s cultural programme in Scotland in 2019. The aim of the project is to foster a letter-based conversation between two authors that live and express themselves in different cultures and languages. To adapted to the context of Scotland Goes Basque, they selected a Basque and a Scottish author.
Iban Zaldua and James Robertson exchanged twelve letters between February and July, each in their own language, Basque and Scots, and then translated to the other so they could communicate. The outcome of the project was introduced at an event at the Edinburgh International Book festival in August, with both authors in attendance. The project made its way back to the Basque Country with another event at the Literaktum festival in San Sebastián, where both authors came together to talk about the experience.
Now, the Basque publishing house Erein has published the book with support from the Etxepare Basque Institute. The book contains all of the letters in four languages: Basque, Scots, Spanish and English.