In 2020, Madrid was Galdosian. The following year, the city remembered its first chronicler, Galician and feminist. And this 2022 will be the turn of Antonio de Nebrija, Pío Baroja and Jacinto Benavente. “It is very important to commemorate those who have defended our language and fought against ignorance,” declared yesterday the delegate of the City Council’s Culture Area, Andrea Levy (PP), in the branch commission. After Benito Pérez Galdós (1843-1920) and Emilia Pardo Bazán (1851-1921), the capital surrenders to three key figures in the history of Spanish letters, three men who ended their days in Madrid.

Next July 2 marks the 500th anniversary of the death of Antonio de Nebrija (Lebrija, 1444–Alcalá de Henares, 1522), author of ‘Gramática española’, the first text of its kind published three years before Christopher Columbus landed in America.

“It was not only the first Castilian grammar, it was also the first grammar of the Romance languages, to which it served as a guide and model,” recalled Levy yesterday, who announced the details of the commemoration of his figure.

Throughout the summer, the council will organize reading corners dedicated to Antonio de Nebrija in the city’s network of municipal libraries. After the summer season, there will be a cycle of conferences for the dissemination of the character and the Spanish language. In addition, the novel by the writer and journalist Eva Díaz Pérez, ‘The dream of the grammarian’ will be presented. The humanist adventure of Elio Antonio de Nebrija’, a book that is the result of five years of research.

In the crisis that followed the loss of American colonies, Pío Baroja and Jacinto Benavente were born, two names of the generation of 98 inseparable from the capital. Baroja (San Sebastián, 1872–Madrid, 1956) “made the city of Madrid his stage,” said Levy. In the last quarter of the year, the 150th anniversary of his birth, the Department of Culture will organize a tribute to the author from San Sebastian by his heirs. “La Cuesta de Moyano, one of Pío Baroja’s favorite places, will be very present in this celebration,” the councilor advanced.

The third and last laureate, Jacinto Benavente (Madrid, 1866–1954), received the first Nobel Prize for Literature a century ago. In November, the city council will present one of his pieces and will develop a cycle of dramatized readings of his works. The “defense of the Spanish language” and of “the writers who made Madrid universal”, Levy concluded his intervention yesterday, “is one of the priorities of the municipal government’s action.”