Esperanto
Author: David Poulson


Stafeto

Author: David Poulson
Published on: February 5, 1999

In October 1945, at the age of 27, Juan Regulo Perez graduated from the State University of La Laguna, Tenerife and, with the support of his Dean became an underpaid tutor in the Faculty of Philosophy and Literature (Belles Lettres). Although at the time he was probably delighted with the position as a way of performing the task at which he was so good - teaching - I wonder if he would also have been mildly shocked if he had known that he would remain attached to that University for the next 39 years!

Probably not. He loved his small island and he loved teaching, philology and poetry. And, as a further act of kindness, his Dean, Professor Elias Serra Rafols, allowed him to conduct an extra-curricular course in Esperanto during the teaching year. Unpaid, of course.

The Esperanto class, however, was cancelled in 1947 when a new vice-chancellor took up his appointment at the university. Regulo, however, refused to let this mean-spirited act of petty tyranny stop him and he managed to get permission to re-locate his classes to the La Laguna Polytechnic in La Laguna and an elementary school in Santa Cruz.

In a commemorative poem, Marjorie Boulton described Regulo Perez as a fighter of dragons. The first dragon was that of his own social origin...the difficulty which confronted a talented child born to hard-working but illiterate agricultural labourers.

"Per intelekt', sciamo kaj laboro,
li venkis drakon de socia prem'
maljusta; li konkeris por si mem
la karieron, brila profesoro."

Next he had to confront the black dragon of fascism, the plague of Europe.

"Forportis lin, en fumospiro densa,
la nigra drako, plago de Eu^ropo,
la monstro de malamoj kaj miopo;
en koncentrej', li restis liberpensa."

And, set free from captivity, he was still harassed by the dragon of "Philistinism," - the reactionary attitudes of the government of Spain during Franco's dictatorship.

"Hejme, post liberig^o el abismo,
c^iam antau^en iris li stafete,
riske kaj sinofere, servoprete,
kontrau^ la drako de la filistrismo."

That last dragon he overcame by sheer persistence and talent. He managed to persuade a new Vice Chancellor to re-establish his extracurricular Esperanto class, and his teaching in the mainstream curriculum and his research won him the respect of his colleagues. However, it was not until 1977 that his teaching qualifications and the other paraphernalia of citizenship which had been denied him in 1936 were restored. Regulo was finally given the proper status and salary of a university professor. He was 62 years old and had suffered 41 years of "internal exile."

Although these years were difficult and, indeed, at times very dangerous for Regulo, the financial hardship to which he was condemned had a very positive result for Esperanto. Unable to make ends meet on the reduced salary he was paid by the University as an "unofficial" tutor, Regulo, in 1950, set up a small printing and publishing house from which he issued (in Spanish) books about the history of the Canary Islands.

In the same year, he came to a decision which had momentous results. In his opinion, "Esperanto-land" was a speech-community, a linguistic community, but not truly a cultural community.

In order to encourage original writers in the language he established the publishers' imprint "Stafeto" and, with little hope of financial gain and with great energy and self-sacrifice, published, between 1952 and 1975 a total of 93 books of (mainly) original poetry and prose, popular science, and works about the Esperanto movement and language.

A quick glance through my latest catalogue of the book service of the Australian Esperanto Association shows that 9 works published by Stafeto are still available at very low prices ranging from $3.00 to $8.50.

However, despite the low price, the quality of book production is high. I am fortunate to have many books published by Regulo on my own shelves and I am looking at one now which, although paper-covered has a sewn binding and is printed on good quality paper.

The book in question is La Infana Raso by the outstanding Esperanto poet William Auld, and it is fitting that I should have chosen this title as an exemplar. You will learn why and more about Auld and Perez in the next Esperanto Topic article.

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PRI TUTKOMUNA LINGVO
PRI RUSA LINGVO
PRI ANGLA LINGVO
PRI ALIAJ NACIAJ LINGVOJ
BATALO DE LINGVOJ
ARTIKOLOJ PRI ESPERANTO
"" PRI "KONKURENTOJ" DE ESPERANTO
LECIONOJ DE ESPERANTO
.KONSULTOJ DE E-INSTRUISTOJ
ESPERANTOLOGIO KAJ INTERLINGVISTIKO
TRADUKO DE MALSIMPLAJ FRAZOJ
TRADUKOJ DE DIVERSAJ VERKOJ
FRAZEOLOGIO DE ESPERANTO
, . VERKOJ DE ZAMENHOF KAJ PRI LI
, PROKSIMAJ MOVADOJ
ELSTARAJ PERSONOJ KAJ ESPERANTO
PRI ELSTARAJ ESPERANTISTOJ
. EL HISTORIO DE RUSIA E-MOVADO
KION ONI SKRIBAS PRI ESPERANTO
ESPERANTO EN LITERATURO
. KIAL E-MOVADO NE PROGRESAS
HUMURO PRI KAJ EN ESPERANTO
- ESPERANTO POR INFANOJ
DIVERSAJHOJ
INTERESAJHOJ
PERSONAJHOJ
/ DEMANDARO / RESPONDARO
UTILAJ LIGILOJ
IN ENGLISHPAGHOJ EN ANGLA LINGVO
PAGHOJ TUTE EN ESPERANTO
NIA BIBLIOTEKO


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