Death of Professor Basilio Losada
July of 2022

It is with deep regret that the ILLA group echoes the many condolences expressed in recent days by prominent personalities and groups from the cultural and academic world.

Basilio Losada Castro, Professor of Galician and Portuguese Philology at the University of Barcelona, passed away on 9 July.

A leading figure in the dissemination of Galician literature and culture through his teaching, his academic work and his work as a translator, Basilio Losada played an outstanding role in the promotion of contemporary Galician poetry through his bilingual editions Poetas gallegos de posguerra (1971), Poetas gallegos contemporáneos (1972) and Poetas gallegos de hoy (1990). 

His translations of Jorge Amado and José Saramago -Memorial do Convento received the National Translation Prize- were responsible for the dissemination of these authors in Spanish-speaking countries. His contribution to the translation of all Portuguese-language literature has been essential: Rubem Fonseca, Clarice Lispector, José Cardoso Pires, José Eduardo Agualusa or Machado de Assis have spoken Spanish thanks to Basilio Losada, whose constant work as a translator includes almost 200 works and brings several languages into dialogue. 

Basilio Losada's work as a mediator between cultures has been rewarded with important awards such as the Sant Jordi Cross of the Generalitat de Catalunya, the Encomienda de la Orden del Infante Dom Henrique, awarded by the Portuguese government, and the Orden del Cruzeiro do Sul awarded by the Presidency of the Republic of Brazil. In Galicia, he was awarded the Pedrón de Honra, the Castelao Medal and the Galician Medal. 

At the end of the 20th century he published La peregrina (1999), with a prologue by José Saramago, a medieval story based on one of the miracles in the Cantigas de Santa María de Afonso X, his first novel.

Professor Losada's teaching work has been extended to universities all over the world, making a notable contribution to the global knowledge of Galician, Portuguese and Brazilian literature. To this internationalising dimension of Galician culture must be added that developed through the presidency of the International Association of Galician Studies between 2003 and 2006.

In 2015 he became an honorary member of the RAG with a speech entitled Reflexións sobre as primeiras novelas de Rosalía de Castro, turning his attention to the author to whom he had already dedicated his doctoral thesis.

He was a cordial man, possessed of multiple wisdoms and gifted with a powerful and evocative oratory. With his death, the members of ILLA lost an academic reference and a generous friend.

May the earth be kind to him.