The Tezaris Map


Sometimes Azza-Jono leaks into our world.

The above image is a reproduction of an artifact know as the Copy of the Tezaris Map, named after Konstantinos Tezaris, who made a drawing of a map from Azza-Jono. The Azza-Jono map and the Tezaris drawing are lost or unavailable, their locations are the subject of several unverifiable theories. The following is the text of an undated letter from Edmund Streller to Paul Calhern. It has been generally accepted that the Copy of the Tezaris Map was the document included with this letter, but there is now some questioning of this assumption.

Dear Paul,

Jack Toomey has kindly informed me about your accident. I must say his list of your injuries was quite dramatic and I hope he was indulging in hyperbole, as he is wont to do. Effie and Celia join their wishes and prayers to mine for your speedy recovery, and even Nicholas came out from under his earphones to express his sympathy. Effie and I hope very much that you and Birgit will be able to join us for our usual Solstice bacchanal. Effie has the whole week planned, but she is ready to modify any and all events to suit your convalescence. If by that time you have left off convalescing and are perfectly recovered, I urge you to summon any small skill you have for the arts of hypochondria. Nothing makes Effie happier than fussing over the afflicted. My smokehouse manager told me yesterday that he expects at least one of the steg hams to be ready for the Solstice. I know your doubts about genetically anachronistic meats, but please seize this delicious (and kosher!) opportunity to have those doubts delightfully assauged. Please inform Birgit to prepare for one whole day of pickling nectarine chutney and plum salsa. Effie’s goal is to make a supply that will last at least six months for a family of four, taking into consideration that our family of four consumes nectarine chutney and plum salsa at a level that is significantly higher than average. Birgit may file a complaint, but it will be to no avail. The only way to avoid this day of labor is for Birgit to reveal her secret recipe for the seasoning mix.

Along with the news of your accident, Jack finally sent me the artifact he promised to show us, way back when, at that memorable luncheon in Houston. It is not the original Tezaris drawing, as he had claimed, although Jack now says he never claimed he had the original drawing. He insists that this is a Xerox copy made by Konstantinos Tezaris himself, of his drawing of the map. It is impossible to verify that kind of provenance, but I find I do not care. So unlike me! I am afraid my habitual cautiousness has been swamped by my excitement over the map itself. There are so many details that are not in the Ashmolean reconstruction! The Ashmolean map, with its splendid silver ink on purple paper, looks rather empty in comparison to this humble black and white document.

You and I have long reserved doubts about the Ashmolean’s choices for their interpretation. It has been proven that Konstantinos Tezaris was in control of the map’s stewardship when he was at the Antikenmuseum, and his notes mention nothing about the color of the paper. Purple paper in the style of Medieval illuminated manuscripts is an extreme characteristic well-worth noting. The lack of such a notation is unbelievable. In reference to the ink, Tezaris was very specific about the arsenic content of one of the inks used in the printed parts of the map. He also wrote that later additions were made by two people, with squid ink. No silver ink appears anywhere on the map! Of course, the Ashmolean has chosen to ignore Tevaris. The controversial photographs that accompanied his paper on Azzite funereal rites is held very much against him, to an unfair degree. Did I mention to you that I met Otto Krafft-Schuman two months ago? He was a mentor of sorts to Tevaris. They were quite close. He still gets choked up about Tevaris, even though it has been years since the death. He is at least 90 years old, but he is very clear-minded and remarkably mobile in his wheelchair. (He could give you lessons, with your two broken legs.) He is a wise man and has no illusions about the general unevenness of Tevaris’ body of scholarship, but he says Tevaris is absolutely sound on the matter of the map.

I am sorry that I will not see you at the UOMP convention in Lucerne next month. Jack Toomey will be there but he does not get my jokes the way you do. You know how I hate explaining the punchline to obtuse people.

Effie sends you kisses. We hope to see you at the Solstice. Get well soon.

Yours Truly,

Ed

This is one of my contributions to the Azza-Jono collaboration at Ello. The whole Azza-Jono project is collected here for your reading pleasure: https://tablo.io/t-van-santana/tales-from-azza-jono

Advertisements

Collab: Five to Alias


This is a cover I designed for the work-in-progress novel, Five to Alias by Tanya Simone Simpson and T. Van Santana. The artwork is a collaboration with Tanya, who is an amazing photographer as well as a writer.





I have included four of her photographs that provided me with all the elements I needed for the cover design. I am grateful that she cheerfully allowed me to chop up her beautiful work!

The world of Azza-Jono is being created by a free-wheeling collaboration of writers on the Ello social network. You can find the results at the Tablo site: Tales of Azza_Jono. You can also read about it on Ello as it happens, but I find that the Ello site does not always work if you are not signed in as a member.

The Unremembering, or Tuachmemoricath


Abstract/asemic comics for the city of Azza-Jono. Tales of Azza-Jono can be found on Tablo. The city is the center of a WIP collaboration of writers and artists (mostly writers) who meet on Ello (my Ello handle is echo-of-newt).

When I started reading my first tale of Azza-Jono, I was reminded of Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities. As I read further into the Tablo site, the stories felt more reminiscent of the early issues of Interzone I stole from my brother. Or like a few short stories from Omni magazine that drilled themselves into my bones, so that I carry them with me always, even though I have forgotten their titles and authors.