Voices from the past, p.1
Voices from the Past, p.1Paul Alexander Bartlett
Produced by Al Haines
FROM THE COVER OF VOICES FROM THE PAST:
In Voices from the Past, a daring group of five independent novels,acclaimed author Paul Alexander Bartlett accomplishes a tour de forceof historical fiction, allowing the reader to enter for the first timeinto the private worlds of five remarkable people: Sappho of Lesbos,the famous Greek poet; Jesus; Leonardo da Vinci; Shakespeare; andAbraham Lincoln. Each novel appears here in its entirety within asingle unique volume of 644 pages beautifully illustrated by theauthor-artist.
Bartlett’s writing has been praised by many leading authors,reviewers, and critics, among them:
JAMES MICHENER, novelist: “I am much taken with Bartlett’s work andcommend it highly.”
CHARLES POORE in The New York Times: “...believable characters whoare stirred by intensely personal concerns.”
GRACE FLANDRAU, author and historian: “...Characters and scenes areso right and living...it is so beautifully done, one findsoneself feeling it is not fiction but actually experiencedfact.”
JAMES PURDY, novelist: “An important writer... I find greatpleasure in his work. Really beautiful and distinguished.”
ALICE S. MORRIS in Harper’s Bazaar: “He tells a haunting andbeautiful story and manages to telescope, in a brilliantlyleisurely way, a lifetime, a full and eventful lifetime.”
RUSSELL KIRK, novelist: “The scenes are drawn with power. Bartlettis an accomplished writer.”
PAUL ENGLE in The Chicago Tribune: “...articulate, believable ...charms with an expert knowledge of place and people.”
MICHAEL FRAENKEL, novelist and poet: “His is the authenticity ofthe true and original creator. Bartlett is essentially awriter of mood.”
WILLIS BARNSTONE, Sappho scholar and translator: “A mature artist,Bartlett writes with ease and taste.”
J. DONALD ADAMS in The New York Times: “...the freshest, mostvital writing I have seen for some time.”
PEARL S. BUCK, Nobel Laureate in Literature: “He is an excellentwriter.”
HERBERT GORMAN, novelist and biographer: “He possesses asensitivity in description and an acuteness in the delineationof character.”
FORD MADOX FORD, English novelist, about Bartlett: “...a writer ofvery considerable merit.”
LON TINKLE in the Dallas Morning News: “Vivid, impressive, highlypictorial.”
JOE KNOEFLER in the L.A. Times: “...an American writer giftedwith...perception and sensitivity.”
FRANK TANNENBAUM, historian: “...written with great sensibility”
Worchester Telegram: “Between realism and poetry...brilliant,colorful.”
eaders of this book who would like to acquire the bound illustratedvolume can do this through any bookstore by giving the store thepublished book’s ISBN, which is
or you can order the book online through
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If you would like to ask your local library to acquire a copy, it’shelpful to the library to give the book’s ISBN, mention that the bookis distributed by Ingram and by Baker & Taylor, and give the book’sLibrary of Congress Catalog Card Number, which is 2006030830.
ABOUT AUTOGRAPH EDITIONS
Autograph Editions is committed to bringing readers some of the bestof fine quality contemporary literature in unique, beautifully designedbooks, many of them illustrated with original art specially created foreach book. Each of our books aspires to be a work of art in itself—inboth its content and its design.
The press was established in 1975. Over the years Autograph Editionshas published a variety of distinguished and widely commended books offiction and poetry. Our most recent publication is the remarkablequintet, Voices from the Past, by bestselling author Paul AlexanderBartlett, whose novel, When the Owl Cries, has been widely acclaimed bymany authors, reviewers, and critics, among them James Michener, PearlS. Buck, Ford Madox Ford, Charles Poore, James Purdy, Russell Kirk,Michael Fraenkel, and many others.
VOICES FROM THE PAST
LEONARDO DA VINCI’S JOURNAL
PAUL ALEXANDER BARTLETT
VOICES FROM THE PAST:
Sappho’s Journal ? Christ’s Journal ? Leonardo da Vinci’sJournal
Shakespeare’s Journal ? Lincoln’s Journal
When the Owl Cries
Adiós Mi México
Spokes for Memory
The Haciendas of Mexico: An Artist’s Record
VOICES FROM THE PAST
LEONARDO DA VINCI’S JOURNAL
PAUL ALEXANDER BARTLETT
Illustrated by the Author
STEVEN JAMES BARTLETT
P. O. Box 6141 ? Salem, Oregon 97304
? Established 1975 ?
This book is protected by copyright. No part
may be reproduced in any manner without
written permission from the publisher.
Copyright © 2007 by Steven James Bartlett
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 2006030830
Printed in the United States of America
Library of Congress Cataloguing-in-Publication Data
Bartlett, Paul Alexander.
Voices from the past : a quintet : Sappho's journal,Christ's journal, Leonardo da Vinci's journal, Shakespeare's journal, Lincoln'sjournal / by Paul Alexander Bartlett and illustrated by the author ; edited bySteven James Bartlett. -- 1st ed.
Summary: "A collection of five historical novelswritten in the form of journals by the Greek poet Sappho of Lesbos, Christ,Leonardo da Vinci, Shakespeare, and Lincoln, integrating their thought,writings, and the testimony of others"--Provided by publisher.
1. Sappho--Diaries--Fiction. 2. Jesus Christ--Diaries--Fiction. 3. Leonardo, da Vinci, 1452-1519--Diaries--Fiction. 4. Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Diaries--Fiction. 5. Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865--Diaries--Fiction. I. Bartlett, Steven J. II. Title.
VOICES FROM THE PAST
PREFACE by Steven James Bartlett xiii
FOREWORD by Willis Barnstone 3
SAPPHO’S JOURNAL 5
CHRIST’S JOURNAL 155
LEONARDO DA VINCI’S JOURNAL 221
SHAKESPEARE’S JOURNAL 343
LINCOLN’S JOURNAL 511
ABOUT THE AUTHOR 621
Steven James Bartlett
Senior Research Professor of P
Visiting Scholar in Psychology & Philosophy, WillametteUniversity
oices from the Past is a quintet of novels that describethe inner lives of five extraordinary people. Progressingthrough time from the most distant to the most recentthey are: Sappho of Lesbos, the famous Greek poet; Jesus;Leonardo da Vinci; Shakespeare; and Abraham Lincoln. Forthe most part, little is known about the inward realitiesof these people, about their personal thoughts,reflections, and the quality and nature of theirfeelings. For this reason they have become no more thanvoices from the past: The contributions they have left usremain, but little remains of each person, of his or herpersonality, of the loves, fears, pleasures, hatreds,beliefs, and thoughts each had.
Voices from the Past was written by Paul AlexanderBartlett over a period of several decades. After hisdeath in an automobile accident in 1990, the manuscriptsof the five novels were discovered among his as yetunpublished papers. He had been at work adding thefinishing touches to the manuscripts. Now, more than adecade and a half after his death, the publication ofVoices from the Past is overdue.
Bartlett is known for his fiction, including When theOwl Cries and Adiós Mi México, historical novels setduring the Mexican Revolution of 1910 and descriptive ofhacienda life, Forward, Children!, a powerful antiwarnovel, and numerous short stories. He was also the authorof books of poetry, including Spokes for Memory andWherehill, the nonfiction work, The Haciendas of Mexico:An Artist’s Record, the first extensive artistic andphotographic study of haciendas throughout Mexico, andnumerous articles about the Mexican haciendas. Bartlettwas also an artist whose paintings, illustrations, anddrawings have been exhibited in more than 40 one-manshows in leading museums in the U.S. and Mexico. Archivesof his work and literary correspondence have now beenestablished at the American Heritage Center of theUniversity of Wyoming, the Nettie Lee Benson LatinAmerican Collection of the University of Texas, and theRare Books Collection of the University of California,Los Angeles.
Paul Alexander Bartlett’s life was lived with a singlevalue always central: a sustained dedication to beauty,which he believed was the most vital value of living andhis reason for his life as a writer and an artist. Voicesfrom the Past reflects this commitment, for he believedthat these five voices, in their different ways, expressa passion for life, for the creative spirit, andultimately for beauty in a variety of its forms—poeticand natural (Sappho), spiritual (Jesus), scientific andartistic (da Vinci), literary (Shakespeare), andhumanitarian (Lincoln). In this work, he has sought, asfaithfully as possible, to relay across time a renewedlyrical meaning of these remarkable individuals, lendingthem his own voice, with a mood, simplicity, depth offeeling, and love of beauty that were his, and, he be-lieved, also theirs.
The journal form has been used only rarely in works offiction. Bartlett believed that as a form of literaturethe journal offers the most effective way to bring backto life the life-worlds of significant, unique, highlyindividual, and important creators. In each of the novelsthat make up Voices from the Past, his interest is toportray the inner experience of exceptional and specialpeople, about whom there is scant knowledge on thislevel. During the many years of research he devoted to astudy of the lives and thoughts of Sappho, Jesus, Leo-nardo, Shakespeare, and Lincoln, he sought to base thejournals on what is known and what can be surmised aboutthe person behind each voice, and he wove into eachjournal passages from their writings and the substance ofthe testimony of others. Yet the five novels are fiction:They re-express in an author’s creation lives now buriedby the passage of centuries.
I am deeply grateful to my wife, Karen Bartlett, forher faithful, patient, and perceptive help with this longproject.
For my father,
Paul Alexander Bartlett,
whose kindness, love of beauty and of place
will always be greatly missed.
Distinguished Professor Emeritus of ComparativeLiterature
aul Alexander Bartlett’s journal of Sappho is a masterfulwork. I had recently completed a translation of theextant lines of Sappho and am familiar with his problems.He was faced with the almost impossible task ofreconstructing the personality of Sappho and herbackground in ancient Lesbos. To my happy surprise he didso, in a work which is at once poetic, dramatic andpowerful. In Sappho’s Journal he does more than create avague illusion of the past. He conveys the character ofreal people, their interior life and outer world. Amature artist, he writes with ease and taste.
Sappho’s poetry, quoted in this novel, isincluded with the translator’s permission.The poems appeared in Sappho, Lyrics in theOriginal Greek, with translations by WillisBarnstone, Anchor Books, Doubleday, 1965.
For clarity, the calendar used by Sappho hasbeen translated into our modern calendar.
Sappho, walking on her island beach,
pauses by a broken amphora:
With one foot, she nudges the terra cotta andblack jar,
its painted chariot, charioteer and horses:
The charioteer wears a laurel wreath.
Sappho, about 30 years old,
her hair braided around her head,
naked, sandaled, saunters along theMediterranean,
gulls and pelicans flying, surf and gullsounds in early morning yellow.
Villa Poseidon, Mytilene
he great storm beats across the island, rattling theolive and the cypress, piling the surf on the beach,hissing the rain across my roof. It is cold and the lightof my terra cotta lamp is cold. Some say that a stormwill wash away our island, but I do not believe it. Ourisland will be here long after I have gone, and so willour town, my dear Mytilene, so wrong, so right.
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