Wednesday, November 17, 2021

SDSU Press' Feature Presentation

 Lights Go Down...

    in a movie theater and a story unravels in front of you. When the lights come back up, you've been transformed in some way. And pulling yourself away from the seat is nearly impossible. 
Jackson's Drawing of Guacamaya
    That's the same feeling you can get from Everett Gee Jackson's Four Trips to Antiquity. You might know this story, you might remember this history from a high school class--a lecture you heard distantly while staring out a window. 
    Regardless, Jackson's work is something new. It's personal, it's intimate. You aren't just learning about ancient Mayan cities, you are living in them. 
    And in living with them, they speak to us.Through the words of Jackson's book, they plead with us. "Please," they say, "Please don't forget we were here. Don't forget that we are here. Don't forget what we are and certainly don't forget what we once were." 
    Jackson says it best when revisiting one of his favorite sculptures on his final trip, only to find it crumbling;  
Jackson's Drawing of Stela P. 
"When I look carefully at Stela P., who is still a lovely young lady to me, I made a sad discovery. The surfaces of the stone figure had become noticeably a bit crumbly. The edges had lost their sharpness. I knew this had not been true of my former visits to the ruins. Later I was to learn that the atmosphere had caused that degeneration. The polluted air of our modern age was finally getting to the ancient sculpture of Central America, just as I had heard it had done to the sculpture of the Acropolis at Athens." 
     Jackson didn't simply see these Mayan sculptures, he interacted with them and he got to know them. If you get to know them, what will happen? If you live in this world crafted by Jackson's words for the 173 pages he gives us, what will change in you? Will they effect you the same way they effected Jackson? 
    There is only one way to find out. 
                Time travel with us. 

Four Trips to Antiquity is available for purchases from the SDSU Press Amazon page (which you can access here). The hardcover book features Jackson's drawing is black-and-white and color, as well as the stories of his travels to the Mayan cities. 

This video features photos taken from Jackson's novels and from Google Images

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