All great books are meant to take us on an adventure, to places unknown, with people unknown, to a world unknown; Everett Gee Jackson does just this in his book Four Trips To Antiquity. Although an artist by trade, Jackson manages to immerse us in the ruined lands of old: Chichicastenango and Copan. These are lands of such fruitful history and Jackson manages to bring to life societies long since dead.
His true accounts and experiences pull us deep into a land of imagery and culture, wrapping our brains in hand drawn pictures of images we hardly knew existed; always urging us to grasp for more, want for more, beg for information that only his experiences could provide to us. He adapts customs and traditions, held so dearly by certain people of the world, into words and images that we can understand through our senses.
Jackson provides image after image of statues, idols, monuments, caressing our minds, and beckoning us to follow him on an adventure through these exotic lands. He is our tour guide, telling us when and where to step while recounting his own tales, and inviting us along for the ride. His visual aids are our stepping-stones from this land to the very one he is enthusiastically describing to us and we have no choice but to jump in beside him.
His words ruminate in our brains as images flash by, pushing us further along on our voyage to a land we never even knew we wanted to visit: Chichicastenango, to Copan. We are children again, as we adventure by his side, thrust into adventure after adventure, each one causing a deep craving in us. A craving for more, more knowledge, more visual imagery, more history, more adventure.
With each new stepping-stone, Jackson thrusts us forward, toward beauty, toward the beautiful oblivion that only a true adventure can provide to us. As we turn each page in a feverish rush, we see through Jackson’s eyes, the beauty of what once was but is no more. These lands which now lay in ruin, are reimagined by Jackson for our own amusement.
Jackson takes us back to a time and places where certain things mattered more, others mattered less, but one can finish reading his book and be certain that the time and place we have just visited is not our own. We must thank him for that, for without him, we never would have made it there and back again, to this land so alien to us.
For information about Popol Vuh (Jackson’s reason for adventuring) look no further:
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