From fervent interlinguist to forgotten hermit
The lexicographer and linguist Petro Evstafyevich Stojan was born in 1884 and began learning Esperanto in 1903. After studying in Odessa and a year’s stay in Paris, he took up residence in Saint Petersburg in 1907, where he became active in the Esperanto movement. In 1916, he and various other well-known linguists (including Jan Baudouin de Courtenay) established Kosmoglot, a group that explored various approaches to an international language and examined several planned languages, some of them created by members of the group, Stojan among them. At the time of the Russian Revolution, Stojan moved first to the Balkans, then to Switzerland, and finally to France. In Switzerland, with financial assistance from Alice Vanderbilt Morris, he compiled his Bibliography of International Language, the most complete such bibliography, still consulted today. In France he continued his study of Indo-European languages and peoples, developing his so-called Vindiana theory, which was rejected by scholars. He began to lead the life of a hermit, finally dying by his own hand in Nice in 1961.