Esperanto
Author: David Poulson


William Auld: a true stalwart

Author: David Poulson
Published on: March 19, 1999

I wonder if there are any countries in the world in which the most important creative writers do as much hard slog for the ethnic language as many of the leading Esperanto writers do for the Esperanto movement. Zamenhof himself, whose original poetry and prose and verse translations reveal to be a writer of great talent, seems to have set the style. As has been described in earlier topic articles, he constantly overworked, writing article after article and letter after letter each night after a long day's work in his clinic, and this unrelenting labour was certainly a major factor in causing his early death at the age of 57.

And he was followed by a long line of gifted writers who seem to have achieved an enormous amount in addition to their literary output. In some cases they achieved distinction in their chosen profession, as did Kaloman Kaloscay. In others, they seem to have almost sacrificed their literary talent by pouring their energies into organizational or editorial work, into teaching, or other movement-related activities. As did Julio Baghy, who, although sometimes described as "la fajrkora poeto" - the poet with the fiery heart - was also described as "the poet who clipped his wings." Kabe, a master of Esperanto prose style, produced a dictionary. Gaston Waringhien, a poet of distinction, produced another. The list is a long one.

In the case of William Auld, fortunately, his robust Scottish constitution in conjunction with his tremendous talent, produced a high achiever who managed not only to produce original work in copious quantity and high quality, but also to work like a beaver at editing journals, translating books, editing major anthologies, and participating to the full in the Esperanto movement. Although I can't be absolutely sure, I am fairly certain that Auld was the editor of one journal or another since the early 1950s. Over 40 years of demanding work!

Auld was also responsible for many useful bibliographical contributions and produced his own "Baza legolisto de la originala Esperanto-literaturo" (Basic reading list of original Esperanto literature) which can be found at:

Out of all of that editorial work, perhaps the most important contribution was the dramatic change he made to the Esperanto movement's official journal between 1955 and 1962. (A change begun, it must be said, by Auld's friend and compatriot, Reto Rossetti.) When the Second World War ended, the Esperanto movement was in seriously bad shape and during a difficult period of reconstruction, La Revuo Esperanto Internacia (as it was then called) was little more than a newsletter. Not that this was such a bad thing: there was a lot of news to report as national Esperanto associations began to get back on their feet. Still, the journal did not seem a very impressive showcase for a movement which dated back sixty years.

At the end of 1954, the editor's chair was filled for a short time by Reto Rossetti and a change began to take place. As Rossetti himself confessed, in 1989, he severely edited the various (often long-winded) reports from Esperanto associations and then after having done his worst, he gave the edited versions to his wife and, without her having seen the original texts, he asked her to make the revised versions even shorter! The space savings thus achieved enabled Rossetti to include samples of contemporary Esperanto literature from at least a dozen of its finest writers.

During the twelve months that Rossetti was acting as editor, William Auld was the editor of Esperanto en Skotlando but in November 1955, he took over from Rossetti and continued the transformation of the journal, now called Esperanto. Auld packed the journal with contributions from creative writers and, even though he used such editorial tricks as reducing the size of the type face, there never seemed to be enough space for the material available. As a result, in April 1958, Auld even brought out a special 72-page issue of Esperanto in addition to the normal monthly issue. Describing his achievement, Mark Fettes, himself a talented and creative editor of Esperanto, wrote as follows:

"...from the journal edited by Auld one breathes in a impression of a culturally mature movement, more so than in any previous decade."

In fact, between 1955 and 1962, the journal Esperanto was used to showcase of the wide array of literary talent, some of which had survived the Second World War and some of which was emerging from a new generation of Esperantists.

(to be continued)

(HOME)

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


All rights reserved. With any use of materials, a link to the site miresperanto.com is required!