Nova jida artikolo pri Esperanto / New Yiddish article on Esperanto

Ĉu la angla venkos la mondon; ĉu aliaj lingvoj malaperos aŭ konserviĝos nur en muzeoj? Nu, judoj respondecas pri Babelo. Unu solvonto de la lingvo-problemo estis Zamenhof, kies judeco estis nepra motivo al kreado de Esperanto. Esperanto similas socie al la jida. Laŭ amiko de la aŭtoro, Esperanto estas la jida de la gojoj.

Do jen eta resumo de Esperanto kaj Zamenhof en jida usona ĵurnalo (kun anglalingva eldono, sed ĉi tiu artikolo ne havas anglan version) ankoraŭ eldonata:

The Jewish Daily Forward / פֿאָרווערטס
23 Nov 2012:

דער נײַער עספּעראַנטאָ
 [The new Esperanto / La nova Esperanto by/de Alec Burko]
 לייזער בורקא


Boxer, Beetle (4)

Boxer, Beetle has been blurbed as hilarious. I would call it satirical in the extreme, but I haven't been laughing.

There are no redeeming characters in the book. Not only are the fascists obnoxious and stupid, but their would-be victims, the underclass East Ender Jews of London, are primitive and crude. Seth "Sinner" Roach is the crudest of them: a malformed boxer who lives to fight, who hates Jew-haters but has no political perspective, only selfish interest. His bizarre symbiosis with the anti-Semitic fascist entomologist and amateur eugenicist Philip Erskine and their mutual fate is the focal point of the mystery Kevin Broom is trying to solve under extreme duress in the present. As the narrative toggles between tracking down vanished persons and the obscure events of 1936, we descend further and further into the pit.

Erskine not only names a beetle he has bred after Hitler, he receives an effusive letter from Hitler. Sinner becomes a mercenary in a brewing battle in the East End as Mosley's fascists storm the area to confront the Jews, who are poised for battle.

Well, Broom and his kidnapper (and the latter's mysterious boss) finally solve the mystery of the boxer and the beetles, as do we in a flashback to October 1936. Both halves of the story conclude with no justice meted out to the bad guys, no good guys to win or lose, no redemption and no moral. This satiric portrait of degradation and fascism is a brilliantly written tour de force, well worth reading, but don't expect any wisdom to be gotten from it.

What this young man is about I do not know, or if this novel bespeaks a trend in Jewish fiction, but you can learn more about the author and his work at Ned Bauman's web site, which also links to his blog "Oh my god look at its little face!". Bauman, born in 1985, studied philosophy in Cambridge. Make of that what you will. There is also a bibliography for this novel. The references for artificial languages are:

The Artificial Language Movement by Andrew Large (1985)
Esperanto: Language, Literature and Community by Pierre Janton, ed. Humphrey Tonkin (1993)


Boxer, Beetle (3)

In the present (Chapter 12 of Boxer, Beetle) the narrator is kidnapped to Claramore, where the key to the quest is thought to be: an incident suspected to have taken place at a fascist conference in 1936.

Then we are back in 1936, at Claramore, the bizarre estate of the Erskine family. William Erskine, inheritor of the estate, rigged it up with high-tech (for 1936) inventions and gizmos in accordance with his vision of the technological future.

Sinner (Seth Roach) and Philip Erskine arrive for the upcoming conference. Pangaean gets mentioned a few more times (145, 149, 163). Philip's father William reads the son's manuscript and decides to have it bound. Later on as the drama at the household reaches a macabre climax, Erskine--which Erskine I'm not certain--has a morbid fantasy involving the third Pangaean Grammar and Lexicon.

It also bears mentioning that Evelyn, Philip's sister, is an aficionado and composer of atonal music, which she ends up attempting to justify to Sinner (171). I mention this noting that one of the prefatory quotes to the novel comes from Adorno on dissonance.

Chapter 13 (August 1936) teaches us that the entire family and the assembled fascist guests all belong in a looney bin. It's a bizarro Addams Family world, only truly morbid. And each fascist we encounter is crazier than the next; each insists on the peculiarities of his own cobbled together world view, such that none can agree and all end up bickering.

Chapter 14 begins with footman Alex Goodman obsessed with two goals: marrying Evelyn's maid, and securing a "top-class conjugal safety coffin." But that's normal compared to what transpires by the end of Chapter 15, as the insanity at Claramore reaches a climax, in more ways than one.


Boxer, Beetle (2)

In the past two days I have read 11 chapters (133 pages) of Ned Beauman's novel Boxer, Beetle. It's a real page-turner, compelling reading, superbly written, and highly absurdist.

Chapter 10 (Autumn 1881), on which I reported in my previous post on this book, is actually a historical digression from the main two plots. incorporates the real history of artificial languages into the fiction. Erasmus Erskine appears to be the grandfather of Philip Erskine, entomologist, eugenicist, Nazi sympathizer. His main occupation is finding and breeding beetles, until he secures the cooperation of gay, nine-toed Jewish Boxer Seth "Sinner" Roach to serve as a guinea pig for a eugenics experiment. This scenario takes place in Britain in the 1930s.

The other main plot takes place in the present, in which Kevin Broom, a collector of Nazi memorabilia, is sucked into a nefarious intrigue involving the sordid past just described.

At the end of chapter 9, Philip Erskine is forced by his father to leave beetles and boxers be for a time in order to complete another project:

"It was time to write the history of Pangaean--the Erskine dynasty's greatest pride, and greatest embarrassment."

So the chapter on artificial languages, though seemingly out of place, is a historical flashback from the 1930s, and pits not only artificial languages against one another, but anti-Semite against Jew.  Erasmus Erskine, creator of Pangaean, wants to abolish adverbs as well as Jews. In 1881, "on the same day that the Jews were driven out of Fluek, the adverbs were driven out of the English language." Meanwhile, far away in Poland, Seth Roach's grandparents prepare to fight off a pogrom.

Erskine, bigoted and obsessed, makes Pangaean so complicated and difficult, that even he can't master his language.

"He was even forced to consider putting the adverbs back in, but concluded that he had left himself no room for them, on the same day in June 1882 that Sinner's grandfather returned with his wife and daughters to Fluek, where they were told by local officials that, according to Alexander III's new Temporary Regulations, no Jews were allowed to settle in the countryside of Russian Poland."

So they left Fluek and ended up in Bialystok (in real life, the birthplace of Zamenhof, creator of Esperanto), where Sinner's father "was born on the same day that Erskine completed the 998-page first draft of the Pangaean Grammar and Lexicon."

Pangaean, of course, never existed, but the real history of the international language movement, with some historical distortions, serves as the backdrop for the unhappy fate of Pangaean. Erskine opposes Esperanto as a Jewish language, as did Hitler later on, but as fate would have it, Hitler ends up banning Pangaean as well as Esperanto.


Plenaj bildrakontoj en Esperanto

Jen interesa retejo. Troveblas nun la jenaj bildrakontoj:

La Milito de la Mondoj de H. G. Wells (kaj ne maltrafu la duan parton)

La Triton-murdoj de István Nemere (kaj ne maltrafu la duan parton)

Baldaŭ alvenos:


La Drako