Esperanto literature

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Esperanto literature began before the official publication of the constructed language Esperanto; the language's creator, L. L. Zamenhof, translated poetry and prose into the language as he was developing it as a test of its completeness and expressiveness, and published several translations and a short original poem as an appendix to the first book on the language, Unua Libro. Other early speakers wrote poetry, stories and essays in the language; Henri Vallienne was the first to write novels in Esperanto. Except for a handful of poems, most of the literature from Esperanto's first twenty years or so is now regarded as of historical interest only.

Esperanto books at the World Esperanto Congress, Rotterdam 2008

Between the two World Wars, several new poets and novelists published their first works, including several recognized as the first to produce work of outstanding quality in the still-young language: Julio Baghy, Eŭgeno Miĥalski, Kálmán Kalocsay, Heinrich Luyken, and Jean Forge.

Modern authors include Claude Piron and William Auld, who was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature a number of times.

Esperanto has seen a solid production of material in Braille since the work of the blind Russian Esperantist Vasilij Eroŝenko, who wrote and taught in Japan and China in the 1910s and 1920s.

Harold Brown wrote several modern plays in Esperanto.

Over 25,000 books in Esperanto have been published[citation needed], and the largest Esperanto book service at the World Esperanto Association offers over 4,000 books in its catalog. Over 100 original novels have been published in Esperanto, plus a larger number of novellas, short story collections, and poetry collections. Three major literary magazines, Fonto, Literatura Foiro and Beletra Almanako, appear regularly; some other magazines, such as Monato, also publish fiction.

The most comprehensive guide to the literature of the language is Geoffrey Sutton's Concise Encyclopedia of the Original Literature of Esperanto (728 pages), published under the auspices of the Esperanto-speaking Writers' Association by Mondial, New York, N.Y., 2008, ISBN 978-1-59569-090-6.


Some of the major figures of Esperanto literature:

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