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Soros Series: Tivadar Soros and the International Language Esperanto

December 16, 2016 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm


INTRODUCTION: Tivadar Soros: Writer, Survivor, Internationalist, by Humphrey Tonkin

As an officer in the Austro-Hungarian army, Tivadar Soros spent most of World War I in prison camp in Siberia. As a Hungarian Jew he spent World War II working to assure the survival of his family. He wrote about these experiences in his two autobiographical works. Along the way he learned Esperanto (and wrote in that language) and imbued in his two sons, Paul and George Soros, an enduring and immensely influential sense of internationalism. This lecture series is dedicated to his memory.

Humphrey Tonkin (MA Cambridge, PhD Harvard), translator of Soros’s two books into English (Masquerade 2000, Crusoes in Siberia 2010), is University Professor of Humanities and President Emeritus at the University of Hartford. He is also translator of Ulrich Lins’s forthcoming Dangerous Language.

How (not) to Plan a Language: The Endurance of Esperanto

Speaker: Esther Schor

Esther Schor will discuss her new book, Bridge of Words: Esperanto and the Dream of a Universal Language, which argues that while Esperanto is known as a “planned” language, Zamenhof deliberately resisted the exhaustive planning of the language, leaving the users of the language to create it over time. Her book surveys the results of his canny choice both in the subsequent history of the movement, and in the conversations that continue to the present day.

Esther Schor, Professor of English at Princeton University, is the author of Emma Lazarus, which received a 2006 National Jewish Book Award, and Bearing the Dead: The British Culture of Mourning from the Enlightenment to Victoria. Her essays and reviews have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the Times Literary Supplement, and The New Republic,among other publications.


December 16, 2016
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Category:


Esperantic Studies Foundation (ESF)


CUNY Graduate Center
365 5th Ave
New York, NY 10016 United States
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