Usona Esperantisto № 2016:5

Bridge of Words

Lasta ĝisdatigo: 2018-03-23

A new history of Esperanto has been winning glowing reviews and generating much positive media attention. Bridge of Words: Esperanto and the dream of a universal language covers the birth of the language, its early struggles, and provides a look inside modern Esperantujo. Author Esther Schor is a professor of English at Princeton University who interleaves the history of the language with her experiences using it in Vietnam, Poland, Turkey — and here in Usono at NASK. Below are excerpts from a few online reviews. Might one of our members like to write their own review for Usona Esperantisto? – Ed.

  • The Washington Times

    Perhaps the most remarkable characteristic of “Bridge of Words” is its author’s passionate engagement with Esperanto. What started out as an examination of how it fared turns into an immersion into what is, astonishingly, even in the 21st century, an enduring alternate universe.

  • Haaretz

    … the prospect of a truly universal language still seems like a good idea, despite being far from realization. Even becoming one of the samideanoj and a member of la granda rondo familia sounds like a good time, at least in Schor’s account. Maybe the answer to the question of whether we should have a common tongue […] is in fact yes: We should all be learning Esperanto.

  • The New York Times

    In portraying a language condemned by both Hitler and Stalin, then used by the American military as the language of the pseudo-Communist “Aggressor” in a lengthy series of Cold War maneuvers, “Bridge of Words” leaves us in no doubt that whatever Esperanto might be doing, it seems to be doing it right.

  • The New Yorker

    By invoking the one thing that we know we have in common with others, we throw a rope across the divide, asserting that, whatever our differences, we do share something: when it rains on one of us, it’s going to rain on the other one, too. Schor quotes the Spanish Esperantist Jorge Camacho: “Esperanto continues to give me something … which I don’t find anywhere else, an irrational sense of directly belonging to the world.”

  • LA Review of Books

    While it never achieved the fina venko (final victory) projected by its more devoted acolytes, Esperanto is today “a living language with a worldwide community,” reports Esther Schor in her fascinating new history. The language has survived derision, repression, and the onslaught of global English, and it still has an estimated million-plus speakers in a hundred-odd countries.

Bridge of Words: Esperanto and the dream of a universal language. Esther Schor. Hardcover and Kindle editions available. 384 pages. Metropolitan Books, 2016. ISBN 0805090797.