Esperanto
Author: David Poulson


Lusin Part Two

Author: David Poulson
Published on: February 23, 2001

Introductory note for new visitors to the Esperanto Topic.

If you have only just begun to take an interest in Esperanto and wish to know some basic information about this fascinating subject, please start your reading at the first article of this series. Having already completed 77 articles, I am now at the stage of writing articles for those readers who have learned quite a lot about the Esperanto language and movement already, and who are now wanting to find out more than just the basic introductory information. To get to the beginning of this series

After you have read the first article, click on the link at the top of the page which says "Articles" to find the rest of the series, which is listed in reverse chronological order. _______________________________________________________

Of course, earning a living as a writer is never easy and it certainly wasn?t in China at that time. After Lusin returned to China (not until 1909, by the way) he worked as a teacher of physiology until after the 1911 revolution. In 1912 Cai Yuanpei (Tsai Yuan-Pei), about whom we have already learned a lot, invited him to travel to Nanking in work in the new Ministry of Education, formed by the Republican Government. Lusin was a very hard working writer, and all of his life he managed to fulfil other roles, principally teaching, and participate in progressive political activity, while at the same time as producing an uninterrupted flow of novels, stories and articles. This diminutive and frail figure was energetic and determined.

They didn?t stay in Nanking long and later in that same year they moved to Peking where, as I have already mentioned, Cai Yianpei eventually became the Rector of Peking University. He was also one of the founders of the short-lived Peking Esperanto College which only functioned for two years. But while it was operational, Lusin taught classes there - not in Esperanto, of course.

Lusin also lectured at Peking University and his university career continued when he moved south to Canton in 1926 and took up the position of Dean of the Faculty of Chinese Language and Literature at the University of Sun Yat-Sen.

Between 1912 and 1926, however, Lusin wrote many novels, stories and articles, as well as lecturing and teaching, and in 1927 he moved to Shanghai as the editor of two literary periodicals. In addition to his literary output, Lusin was notable during his lifetime as a committed progressive thinker and activist. In 1930, he was one of the founders of the Union of Left-Wing Writers, and then the next year, with Sun Yat-Sen?s wife, he organised the Chinese Union for the Protection of Human Rights. And of course he provided moral and financial assistance to the Esperanto movement in Shanghai and its journal, La MOndo

On the 19th of October, 1936, Esperanto lost a good friend when Lusin died at the early age of 55.

Eroshenko lost a good friend too! After he had accepted the invitation from Cai Yuanpei and Lusin to teach at Peking University, Eroshenko travelled there at the end of February 1922 and became the house guest of Lusin. Another resident was Lusin?s brother, Chou Shu-ren (Zhou Zouren) who was also a fluent speaker of the Japanese language and who later wrote in Esperanto.

Eroshenk settled in very well and, in his customary fashion, became very active and productive. He taught esperanto, also lectured about social issues, played music, and of course, wrote literature. Now, his principal language of creative expression was Esperanto. In July1922, he was off on his travels again to Helsinki in order to attend the International Esperanto Congerence held there. He came back to Peking, seemed to be very happy there, and then left in July 1923 for Nuremberg, which was the venue of the 15th Universala Kongreso.

But this time, Eroshenko did not come back. He spent a year with friends in France and Germany, then met up with Cai Yuanpei at the 16th UK in Vienna. Instead of returning to China, however, Eroshenko travelled to Moscow and never returned to the East.

Probably this was what we would describe today as a bad career move! The executions and purges of Stalinist Russia are well enough known and Eroshenko was probably very lucky to survive them. This very public poet slipped into a safely obscure existence doing good work as a teacher of blind children in very remote parts of southern and eastern Russia. In this way, he survived the Stalinist era, lived through the Second World War and died on December 23rd 1952.

Although we may regret that his promotion of the Esperanto movement was, of necessity, curtailed, we can only admire what achievements this talented and courageous individual was able to accomplish. I hope that there still blind people arrrive in Russia who remember with gratitude their inspired teached. And certainly in China and Japan, he is remembered with great respect and affection.

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