Dolores Corbella and Paloma Díaz-Mas, candidates to represent the letter ‘i’ in the armchairs of the RAE

The Plenary of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) has approved, in its session this Thursday, the appointment of two candidates to occupy the ‘i chair, vacant since the death of Margarita Salas on November 7, 2019. The applicants are the philologists Dolores Corbella and Paloma Díaz-Mas, as announced by the institution through a statement.

The reading of the merits of the candidates will take place in the plenary session next Thursday, April 15, and the vote will take place on April 22. The call for this position was published in the Official State Gazette (BOE) of February 25, 2021.

These candidacies are endorsed by three academics, as indicated in article X of the RAE statutes, where the entry rules for the new faces of the corporation are set.

In this way, that of the Canarian writer Dolores Corbella has the support of Emilio Lledó, José Manuel Blecua and Pedro Álvarez de Miranda. While that of Paloma Díaz-Mas is signed by Luis Goytisolo, José María Merino and Soledad Puértolas.

The RAE has a total of 46 academic chairs. Currently, the letters ‘k’, ‘d’ and ‘q’ are also vacant, whose previous holders were, respectively, the Arabist Federico Corriente Córdoba, the philologist and Hellenist Francisco Rodríguez Adrados and the philologist Gregorio Salvador Caja.

“The current statutes of the RAE establish in its article X that ‘the Academy will choose its individuals among the people he deems most worthy, in a secret ballot and, at least, by an absolute majority of votes, ‘”they state in the press release.

Since the Royal Spanish Academy was founded in 1713, a total of 486 academics have been part of the institution, including only 11 have been women. It was February 9, 1978, 42 years ago, the day the poet Carmen Conde was chosen to occupy one of the armchairs and represent the letter ‘k’.

From 2000 until now, of the 38 appointments that there have been, only 8 have been academic. Conde was followed by Elena Quiroga, who obtained the ‘a’ chair in 1984. Then came Ana María Matute, who held the ‘k’ in 1998; Carmen Iglesias, who held the ‘e’ in 2002, and Margarita Salas, mentioned in the previous lines, who was recognized with the ‘i’ chair.

Later, in 2010, Soledad Puértolas was awarded the ‘g’ chair, and Inés Fernández Ordoñez occupied the ‘p’ a year later, in 2011. For her part, Carme Riera obtained the ‘n’ chair in 2013, while Aurora Egido, who happened to have the chair ‘b’ in 2014. Clara Janés held the ‘u’ in 2016 and, in 2017, Paz Bataner obtained the ‘s’.