I was also determined the publication should be entirely in Esperanto: I know that 'komencantoj' are important but we need to provide in Britain something for the more advanced speakers and something to which the 'komencantoj' can aspire. That does not mean to say that every contribution will be what might be termed 'heavy': indeed, I would welcome lighter articles (albeit in good Esperanto). Nevertheless 'The British Esperantist' could and should provide a forum for the untapped talents which exist in the small, but remarkably rich and vibrant British movement. To this end I shall be publishing two prize-winning essays submitted to the University of Liverpool: it is entirely wrong that work of this calibre, produced in Britain, should be seen solely by the judge(s) of the essay competition and then confined to a dusty drawer at the university. I hope, too, to encourage original writing in Esperanto: I know there are esperantists in this country who write creatively and it is entirely proper that they should have a forum for their work.
This does not mean to say the The British Esperantist will be a literary publication (for instance I have restricted book reviews to 500 words). The British Esperantist will inform (I hope in more depth than in Update) about developments in EAB, particularly with regard to Barlaston: David Kelso, Director of Development, will be contributing. I have also asked Hilary Chapman to provide material for a historical retrospective to be entitled 'El pasintaj paĝoj'.
Ultimately it is a question of balance - tapping the creative talents available in Britain and informing about the movement and its people. I'm not sure I shall get the balance right in the first edition (for instance there will be no letters since there has not been a publication for over 12 months with material to which to respond). In addition I am acutely aware that, to set the ball rolling, I have commissioned the vast majority of the material in the relaunch edition which means it is likely to reflect to too great an extent my interests and my inclinations. I hope that when more people are aware of the existence of The British Esperantist more people will contribute to what is, after all, their publication - not mine.
That does not mean to say I shall blindly publish anything that is sent. I will not, for instance, publish material that I know to have appeared or to be likely to appear in any other Esperanto magazine. I shall not, therefore, copy verbatim articles from other publications (however interesting they may be); this is a practice too common in Esperanto 'journalism'. For example, I have already been offered a so-called joke which I read months ago on the Esperanto internet and which was sent me via a Canadian publication. I am not in the business of recycling. Similarly I shall not publish translations from English. I might well refer to interesting articles which have appeared in - for instance - Esperanto or RetEventoj if they have bearing on British esperantists. But I stress that in essence 'The British Esperantist' is to celebrate the vitality of the British movement.
I approach this task with enormous humility. I am aware of the enormous debt I owe to the previous editor, Bill Auld, and to those before him. I shall attempt to maintain and if possible build on the standards of the past so that non-British esperantists will turn to The British Esperantist for its originality and for its quality. I would like to take this opportunity of thanking Simon Davies whose publishing and computer skills are enabling him to translate my vague notions about layout and appearance into impressive reality. Without Simon Davies there would be no relaunched publication.
Finally I remain open to constructive suggestions so that 'The British Esperantist' reflects the needs and wishes of the membership of EAB. In this respect I am but a trustee and I look forward to 'meeting the readership' in open forum at the next British congress.
Dr. Paul Gubbins
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