Sebastian Schulman is a writer, editor, and literary translator from Yiddish, Esperanto, and other languages. His translations and original work have appeared in over a dozen literary journals, including Two Lines, Words Without Borders, and ANMLY. His translation of Spomenka Stimec’s Esperanto-language novel Croatian War Nocturnal was published by Phoneme Media/Deep Vellum in 2017. After several years as the executive director of the leading Yiddish arts and culture organization KlezKanada, Sebastian now serves as the director of special projects and partnerships at the Yiddish Book Center. He lives in Montréal, Québec.
In this episode, he talked about the Language Esperanto, its genesis, Esperanto literature and his translation of Sponeka Stimec’s Croatian War Nocturnal from Esperanto into English.
Croatian War Nocturnal is a fictionalized memoir of the wars in former Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, told from the perspective of a Croatian Esperanto activist and teacher. The book consists of short, interconnected episodes describing the daily traumas of war and genocide and their effect on life and family, memory and language. It’s an emotional account of a woman trying to make sense of the seeming collapse of the two utopian projects that have framed her life—Yugoslavia and Esperanto.
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