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Thursday, September 30, 1999 Published at 17:10 GMT 18:10 UK


UK: Scotland

Author misses out on Nobel dream

Mr Auld was honoured to receive a Nobel Institute nomination

A little known Scottish author who was in the running for the Nobel Prize for Literature has missed out on his dream.

Bill Auld has written more than 50 acclaimed books but because they are in the international language of Esperanto they have not found a mass audience.

The 75-year-old novelist, poet and translator was one of a select group of writers from around the world who believed they were in the running for this year's award.

But the coveted prize went to Germany's Guenter Grass, who promptly announced he would be giving a proportion of his $960,000 winner's fund to a charity he runs for gypsies.

'Recognition of Esperanto'

Before Thursday's announcement Mr Auld, who lives in the small town of Dollar, Clackmannanshire, played down his chances of victory.

However, he did say he believed success would be a long-overdue recognition of the power of Esperanto to unite communities across the world.

"I don't think I have much of a chance, but I am very honoured to have been nominated," he said.

"It is a tremendous achievement personally for me and a recognition of the popularity of my work throughout the world, but to win it would also recognise the impact of Esperanto.

'A bridge between people'

"It is a language which brings people together on a level playing field in a world where language is power and power is wielded by the few."

Mr Auld was born in Kent but he grew up on Glasgow's south side.

He first saw Esperanto in a scouting text book and was excited by the concept of a language for all.

"I saw the language as a bridge between different peoples and it has been a great passion of mine ever since," he said.

Esperanto, which has a vocabulary derived mainly from Latin and French, was invented in 1887 by Polish eye specialist Dr L.L.Zamenhof.



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