Amos Oz: Esperanto among the Kibbutzim

Famous Israeli author Amos Oz, who lived on a kibbutz for decades, has written a book of connected stories about kibbutzim, Between Friends. The publication release date for the English translation is September 24.  One of the stories in the book is titled "Esperanto." Here are excerpts from two reviews.

Amos Oz explores the daily lives behind utopian dreams in 'Between Friends' by Michael Walsh, Daily News, September 18, 2013
 The collection concludes with a masterfully rendered story called “Esperanto,” which has an atmosphere so rich it can almost be considered a character itself. It focuses on Martin Vandenburg, an anarchist who teaches Esperanto, the easy-to-learn constructed language that was crafted to transcend nationality and promote peace.
Between Friends by Amos Oz – review by Alberto Manguel, The Guardian, Wednesday 8 May 2013
The Esperanto teacher declares that "imprecise words poison relations between people everywhere, and that's why clear, accurate words can heal those relationships, but only if they are the right words spoken in a language that all people can understand". One of the students observes that Cain and Abel "probably spoke the same language too"; another says nothing but thinks that "the sorrow in the world was born long before words".

Vandenberg believes humans are essentially generous and kind-hearted but corrupted by their environments. He wants states to be abolished and replaced with an international, pacifist brotherhood of Esperanto speakers.

“When all human beings speak the same language,” he tells his class, “there will be no more wars because their common language will prevent misunderstanding among individuals and peoples.”

This claim reveals an ideological rift. Students question his belief with instances of violence between people who spoke the same language: Cain and Abel, German Jews and Nazis.

One student sat quietly, thinking “the sorrow in the world was born long before words.”

If that young man is correct, then the feeling of sadness, miscommunication and pain existed long before anyone uttered those nouns, which are essentially metaphors for something intangible.
On this web page are two videos and links to the story "Esperanto" in Italian and Hebrew:

Video. Amos Oz, Esperanto (Festival Internazionale delle Letterature 2012 – Basilica di Massenzio, Roma )

In the second of these videos, Oz recites the story in Hebrew, accompanied by music and Italian subtitles.  The first is an interview in which Oz summarizes the story "Esperanto," which you can view right here:

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