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. 

No comments:

Post a Comment