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Harold Brown, “La Pesto” Posted by on Apr 30, 2009 in Esperanto Language

Playwright (verkisto) Harold Brown was one of the leading figures in Esperanto drama. When he died of a stroke in 2004, Brown had completed a surprising number of Esperanto books, plays, and articles. Though I can’t confess to have read half of his works, I am quite familiar with the play for which he is most famous: A brief two-person drama called “La Pesto” (The Plague). You can find a PDF copy of the play at his website.

In La Pesto, a man and woman who remain unnamed, and of indeterminate age, sit in a cafe and discuss the fallout of what seems to be a catastrophic plague. Their nation is heavily quarantined, requiring identification and a clean bill of health to navigate the countryside. In addition, the panic of the widespread affliction is beginning to take its toll on society, undermining what little stability remains in the government. The play unfolds as a worrisome meditation on human mortality that concludes on a surprising note of hope.

The play is definitely worth the read. Take a look at Harold Brown, and savor one of Esperanto’s finest authorial voices.

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