Sunday, December 29, 2013

Character retrospective 1974

I didn't add many drawings to my 1974 journal as I was busy writing my late-Roman adventure story. But on May 25, a day after the 7th anniversary of starting my journal, I drew and painted this year-by-year pageant of imaginary characters from my fantasy and historical writing efforts. I also painted in the "year color" of each year in the panel. I continue to choose "year colors" even now. I remember all of these characters, some of whom you've seen before here. So here's the roster as of 1974:

1968: Oyatna, a philosopher-adventurer from my world of Noantri New Earth (fantasy)
1969: Alexander Solomon, a Jewish baseball player in the minor leagues
1970: Three artist characters from "The Mozart Machine," a contemporary-based story about electronic music. Left to right: Ari Roussel, painter, Sarah Leuschel, composer, David Rifkin, writer, poet, librettist.
1971: Redon IV (seated) lord of Eridu, with his first wife Atmon, from Noantri New Earth.
1972: Three Catholic churchmen. Larger cardinal, the Frenchman Maurice Alphard. In black, Father Alban, a Jesuit. Smaller cardinal, Giovanni Cardinal Acquaviva.
1973: Archimandrite Loukas Chiaramonti (Orthodox monk)
1974: Two later Roman characters, the eunuch and shipmaster Heliodorus and the heroine Aurelia with her magical Codex. From "Codex Mirabilis," a magical-realist historical tale set in the later Roman Empire.

This set brings back many memories as well as affirming that even (especially!) during my college days, and even when I was traveling in Europe, I never stopped writing about something, no matter what it was. Looking back on all this writing, I know I was no literary lion (or lioness) but I loved what I was doing. I really don't want to show any of this or publish it, but I'm glad I did it. One of these writing projects, the "Codex," won me a fellowship for a year's study in Europe, which I took in 1975-76.  

Since then, many more characters have populated my notebooks and image files. Some of these characters appear as "historical" in their own timeline and made-up world. I still like to write just as a sideline, so stay tuned for revived developments in this department for 2014.

Pelikan Graphos sepia ink colored in watercolor on sketchbook page, 8" x 3", May 25, 1974. Click on the pic for larger view. This is a tiny picture so you might want to look closely.

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