We will be back after Christmas. You have been warned.
Monday, 1 December 2014
Wednesday, 22 October 2014
It’s October, so it’s time for Issue 3. There’s no point being modest, we think it’s our best yet, and perhaps the greatest black and white magazine currently available in the world today.
You’ll notice that we have tweaked the postage a bit: this isn’t because we are amoral money grabbers, but rather that being altruistic idealists was proving to be quite expensive. As an example, it is genuinely amazing to have orders from America and Canada and Australia and New Zealand, but each one cost us ninety pence, which is clearly a bit daft.
If you are in Europe or the rather vague (and vast) Rest of the World, we hope this won’t affect your interest or your order, the little bit extra is important to our ongoing existence and much very much appreciated.
Wednesday, 24 September 2014
Saturday, 20 September 2014
Friday, 5 September 2014
A fairly comprehensive list, although it misses out brown paper packages tied up with string, snow flakes that stay on my nose and my lashes, seven item cooked breakfasts, wattle and daub, giant ape films, travelators and being right all the time.
Monday, 1 September 2014
Monday, 25 August 2014
Our thanks for this picture to the delightful Dolly Dolly, who is our Special Guest Star for Issue Two, which will be available in September, earlier than previously suggested. Advance indications are that it may sell out quickly again, so, if you want one, don't let the grass grow.
The somewhat quizzical F.H Happold is not under any circumstances to be confused with F.C Happold, the educator, mystic and war hero, A.F Harrold, the prodigiously bearded contemporary poet or H.F Hafnarfjordur FC, the Icelandic Football Club.
Thursday, 21 August 2014
Putting 'The British Esperantist' together is an occasionally difficult process, simply because there is so much stuff we want to include, but only so much space to fit it into.
This letter, written in 1953 to a publication called 'The English Digest', is a good example. We love every last word of it, but it simply doesn't lend itself to our template. And that's one of the reasons we have this weblog.
Sunday, 17 August 2014
I have an empty tin of Lyle's Black Treacle on my desk. I keep pens and pencils and cocktail stirrers in it. I look at the tin every day, revel in its red, black and gold perfection and ponder the classic (on tins of Golden Syrup since 1884, 66 years before Lyle's even started making treacle) dead lion and swarm of bees trademark and the legend 'out of the strong came forth sweetness'.
The origin of Lyle's slogan is The Bible, of course, an indefatigable tome and international best seller that bad people use to justify the bad things they do, and good people use to explain the good things that they do. It's a book, it isn't responsible one way or the other.
Then Samson went down to Timnah with his father and mother, and came as far as the vineyards of Timnah; and behold, a young lion came roaring toward him.
The Spirit of the LORD came upon him mightily, so that he tore him as one tears a young goat though he had nothing in his hand; but he did not tell his father or mother what he had done.
So he went down and talked to the woman; and she looked good to Samson.
When he returned later to take her, he turned aside to look at the carcass of the lion; and behold, a swarm of bees and honey were in the body of the lion.
So he scraped the honey into his hands and went on, eating as he went. When he came to his father and mother, he gave some to them and they ate it; but he did not tell them that he had scraped the honey out of the body of the lion.
Samson later used the experience to confound the guests at a wedding he attended, turning it into a riddle that they were unable to solve.
Someone has very carefully and methodically taken the time to list the various versions / translations of Samson's riddle, and we are happy to present a list here.
New International Version
New Living Translation
So he said: "Out of the one who eats came something to eat; out of the strong came something sweet." Three days later they were still trying to figure it out.
English Standard Version
And he said to them, “Out of the eater came something to eat. Out of the strong came something sweet.” And in three days they could not solve the riddle.
New American Standard Bible
So he said to them, "Out of the eater came something to eat, And out of the strong came something sweet." But they could not tell the riddle in three days.
King James Bible
And he said unto them, Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness. And they could not in three days expound the riddle.
Holman Christian Standard Bible
So he said to them: Out of the eater came something to eat, and out of the strong came something sweet. After three days, they were unable to explain the riddle.
International Standard Version
So he told them: From the eater came something edible; from the strong something sweet. For three days they couldn't solve the riddle.
He said to them, "Out of the one who eats came something to eat; out of the strong one came something sweet." They could not solve the riddle for three days.
GOD'S WORD® Translation
So Samson said to them, "From the eater came something to eat. From the strong one came something sweet." For three days they couldn't solve the riddle.
Jubilee Bible 2000
And he said unto them, Out of the eater came forth food, and out of the strong came forth sweetness. And they could not declare the enigma in three days.
King James 2000 Bible
And he said unto them, Out of the eater came forth food, and out of the strong came forth sweetness. And they could not in three days expound the riddle.
American King James Version
And he said to them, Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness. And they could not in three days expound the riddle.
American Standard Version
And he said unto them, Out of the eater came forth food, And out of the strong came forth sweetness. And they could not in three days declare the riddle.
And he said to them: Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness. And they could not in three days expound the riddle.
Darby Bible Translation
And he said to them, Out of the eater came forth food, And out of the strong came forth sweetness. And they could not in three days explain the riddle.
English Revised Version
And he said unto them, Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness. And they could not in three days declare the riddle.
Webster's Bible Translation
And he said to them, Out of the eater came forth food, and out of the strong came forth sweetness. And they could not in three days expound the riddle.
World English Bible
Young's Literal TranslationAnd he saith to them: 'Out of the eater came forth meat, And out of the strong came forth sweetness;' and they were not able to declare the riddle in three days.
So, there you go. It's worth pointing out at this stage that I don't like black treacle, I just love the tin it comes in.
While I'm admitting stuff, I also have a soft spot for the manic Hollywood epic 'Samson & Delilah' starring the beautiful actress and scientist Hedy Lamarr and face pulling beefcake Victor Mature (and his lion wrestling stand in).
"YOU KILLED IT WITH YOUR HANDS"
As one wag said 'it's the only film where the hero has bigger tits than the heroine'.
Thursday, 14 August 2014
Having an association with a publication such as The British Esperantist is not always the wonderfully angst free bowl of black seedless grapes that readers may believe. While much of the mail is electronic, routine and easily dealt with by the compilers, there are messages of support, points of order and sales inquiries which require actual thought and attention. Occasionally there are packages when none are expected:
Such a parcel, received into one of the two offices The British Esperantist keeps, certainly raised our already arched eyebrows an inch higher. Something about the clean lines of the brown tape, carefully word processed label and lack of either return address or identifying postmark (since when has this been legal?) caused a quiet, sober moment, in which we contemplated having our pretty fingers blown off or inhaling a lungful of a lethal bacterium. This anxiety thankfully passed on revealing the contents:
Many thanks to the kind, informed and anonymous reader who sent these books, presumably for review. Please, in future, do include your name and full address so we can properly publish them in the appropriate section of next issue, which, incidentally, will be unleashed in October.
UPDATE: Mystery solved, thanks to Matt K for this precious bundle. Now we just need to find out who sent us the letter bomb and the anthrax.
Sunday, 10 August 2014
It's quite incredible but, after only a week, 'The British Esperantist' has completely SOLD OUT. Thank you.
Success means that we have covered our costs and can now do it all again. We have lots of of plans, and some halfway decent ideas, and it's good to have you with us.
Incidentally, we ran a little Facebook competition, but no-one got it right, so we'll try it here instead. The first person to identify the bewigged gentleman above will win a free copy of the next issue of 'The British Esperantist', a prize worth over £2.84.
Saturday, 2 August 2014
'The British Esperantist' is now available. How are we describing it today? How about 'a mixtape for books'?
Some of you may still be wondering what this is all about. It's about three quid, including postage, so if you want to find out more, all you need to do is to press a button. Here is the button.
PLEASE NOTE: THE BUTTON HAS BEEN REMOVED. WE HAVE NOW SOLD ALL OUR COPIES. THANKS SO MUCH TO THOSE WHO BOUGHT ONE.
Wednesday, 23 July 2014
The British Esperantist is an organ of response which collects and republishes cuttings from the libraries of its assemblers. The instructions for becoming an assembler are very simple and will be made available shortly. Anyone with a library and a scanner can become an assembler. This prompts two questions: what to assemble, and why bother?
To answer these questions would somehow compromise the enterprise, which is not to say that the purpose of The British Esperantist is to be obscure or obstinate, but to comment that it is assembled in a warm, emotional state and not a cold, cerebral one. There is the feeling and suspicion that if one were to answer these questions directly, in a scientific attitude, then the project would become difficult and unpleasant.
I am, however, happy to talk around these questions as I would like you to read this and get enough sense of the thing to inspire you to buy a copy and become an assembler yourself. Paul, my collaborator, certainly has his own set of motivations which guide him, both consciously and unconsciously. I am not concerned with loss, ghosts, waste or nostalgia: I have had more than enough of them. I am, however, drawn to tradition. In relation to assembling The British Esperantist I would comment that there are many ways in which tradition manifests itself in individual action: often it is volitional, sometimes coerced and frequently, one presumes, instinctual.
Certainly, if you speak Esperanto then this should not really concern you, you are perhaps better directed towards La Brita Esperantisto.
The British Esperantist is rather like painting by letters. The material itself may well be lost and recovered, buried and now exhumed, but that is hardly the point. The juxtapositions of images and cuttings communicate beyond their direct significance or bearing on memory. The intent is not surrealist, although some of the material could be classified as such, but only because our libraries contain surrealism, just as they contain material concerned with carpentry, cooking and weaponry. In fact, the actual material is of minor importance: often slight and amusing or shocking and pornographic, it evokes trivial titters, happy recognition, momentary excitement.
And that is enough for now. This is a Reader's Digest Digest, a Digested Reader's Digest and a Reader's Regurgitated Digest digested into one. Obviously, as such, it is concerned with the internet. If anything, the British Esperantist is a tool to reflect on the internet. It is almost like a guide to the internet, which you can buy for £2 and read anywhere, in your own time, under a light source of your choice.
Next: how to obtain your copy.
Wednesday, 16 July 2014
Irene Handl died on 27th November, 1987. There isn't a day that has passed since that we haven't missed her hip eccentricity.
Issue one of The British Esperantist is at the printers. That isn't a euphemism, it really is.
Thursday, 19 June 2014
Sunday, 1 June 2014
So, Matt (Cheeseman) and I were hanging out in his office, looking at some of his wacky books and talking about 'The Archive' - that avalanche of literature and art and music and maps and tapestries and souvenir thimbles that people like us collect and become obsessed with.
'Can we make sense of it all? Or is it too late?' asked Matt, talking as much to himself as to me, although I answered anyway (I'm like that) - 'Perhaps', I said, 'it isn't about making sense of The Archive - maybe we just need to point at a portion of it every now and again; it certainly couldn't hurt, and people do like looking at things'. Matt concurred, or, at least, he didn't strike me violently across the face and eject me from the room.
'The British Esperantist' is that pointing finger. The contents are selected more or less at random, with little or no editorial interference. It's not art and it's not literature - nor is it history or woodwork or sports science - to be stupidly disingenuous, it just is, it just is. It serves no purpose other than as a means to give some love to this STUFF that fills our heads, our hearts and our homes. That's good enough for us - we hope it meets with your approval, too.
The first issue will be available soon. For now, we'll just post the odd (and perfectly normal) bits that didn't quite make the final cut.
The British Esperantist is published in association with The National Centre for English Cultural Tradition.