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I’ve arrived to New Zealand! I’m on an extended “working” vacation for a couple months—actually spending day 1 in Auckland finishing up a book indexing project for the Center for Basque Studies before heading north to Whangarei Heads. Follow my New Zealand photo updates as I travel around the North and South Islands, and then hop up to Australia for a few weeks too.

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Yesterday I completed a Center for Basque Studies proofreading project on a book about Basque exploration in the Pacific Ocean by William Douglass. Such a great read, especially with me living in California and having spent time in many of the places detailed: Monterey Bay (reached in the mid 1500s), Morro Bay (late 1500s), and the San Francisco Bay (late 1700s). It’s amazing to read of the hardships and accomplishments of the crews, and at the same time sad to know the price the native populations paid for this European gain.

A few fun facts from the book: The Victoria of Ferdinand Magellan’s historic expedition was the first vessel to circumnavigate the globe. It was constructed in the Basque town of Zarauz in 1515 and completed the journey sailing into Sanlúcar de Barrameda, just north of Cádiz, Spain, in September of 1522 with just 18 survivors on board—Magellan not one of them, having died pursuing pagan conversion on Cebu Island in the Philippines. The Basque Juan Sebastian Elcano (Elkano) captained the vessel that historic day, though Magellan had already sailed to the Philippines there years prior so he technically completed his famed circumnavigation.

1589 Pacific Ocean map courtesy of the National Library of New Zealand.

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I completed a proofreading project last week on a 15-year-in-the-making book by scholar Joseba Zulaika. Titled That Old Bilbao Moon: The Passion and Resurrection of a City, the book is a first-person meditation on the Basque Country’s postwar generation. Covering everything from the bombing of Guernica to the construction of the Guggenheim, That Old Bilbao Moon is a comprehensive read for anyone interested in Basque culture, and specifically the city of Bilbao. Look for it to be released soon by the Center for Basque Studies.

*photo of Jeff Koons’ Puppy at the Guggenheim-Bilbao by juantiagues/flickr

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Today I finished copyediting another book for the Center for Basque Studies: Mythology and Ideology of the Basque Language: A History of Scholarship by Antonio Tovar, who is pictured above looking very scholarly. This classic text, translated into English by Jennifer R. Ottman, explores the multitude of myths surrounding the origin of Basque, walking us through the ideologies of various scholars, and concludes with a very simple explanation of what can be proven. As we were dealing with a translated classic, I kept my edits to a minimum here to retain the author’s voice and style. Stay tuned to the Center for Basque Studies for more information on this book’s release. Photo from Bilblioteca Virtual: Miguel de Cervantes

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I’m excited to report I’m finished with a behemoth copyediting job for the Center for Basque Studies, the near 450-page Innovation and Values: A European Perspective. This one took a lot of brain power to get through as the author (Javier Echeverría) discusses the current state of innovation studies. Lucky for me, the Center for Basque Studies uses a rock-star translator, Cameron J. Watson, and he brought his A-game to this text.

I just finished a beast (in length at least) of a book copyediting job for the Center for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno: The Basque Nation On-Screen: Cinema, Nationalism, and Political Violence by Santiago de Pablo, 548 pages in its manuscript form. A film study of how Basque culture and politics are conveyed on-screen, the book is a great read into fact, fiction, and myth in Basque Country history, particularly the period involving the democratic transition after Franco’s death and the various components of Basque Nationalism, especially ETA violence.

It’s amazing how much goes into the making of a film, and this book goes to show how, especially when politics are involved, films can take on all new meanings depending on the audience and the year they are viewed. Though many of the discussed films were box-office failures, I’ve marked a few for my Netflix queue.

I popped by the Basque Library at the University of Reno, Nevada, a few days ago to meet with my editor. So exciting to see two books I proofread, Knowledge Communities and The Basques, prominently displayed! The Basques is a classic 1955 text on the Basque Country and its people, and this version translated from the 1971 French edition is the first in English. Knowledge Communities, a bit more esoteric, is a collection of articles on knowledge communities, covering topics from art, science and climate change to free knowledge regarding software. Stop by the Basque Library to check them out or contact the Center for Basque Studies to order.