John Neeleman

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John Neeleman

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Born
in Salt Lake City, The United States
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February 2013


How did the man Jesus become a myth that would swallow the Roman Empire?

My novel, Logos, dramatizes the advent of Christianity. The primary action ultimately involves the composition of the original Gospel – by the novel’s protagonist, Jacob.

But I am a novelist, not a biblical scholar. The great historical novelist Hilary Mantel says, “I try to stick with the facts until the facts run out.” I began with these facts: To quote Harold Bloom, “there was an historical Jesus.” Apparently, like Tank Man or Ethel Rosenberg, and like legions of other Jews in the first century, he was murdered by the powers that be because he was rebelling against an unjust society.

At the same time, a Jewish scholar and philosopher named Philo lived in Alexandria,
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John Neeleman Hi Kay. Thanks for the question. My debut novel (the first one published, that is) is LOGOS. I'm now working on a novel set in the Reign of Terror in …moreHi Kay. Thanks for the question. My debut novel (the first one published, that is) is LOGOS. I'm now working on a novel set in the Reign of Terror in France (the working title is the AGE OF REASON). Both research processes have been similar. For historical fiction, I settle on a principal character or principal characters, then I research and draw the plot from the research -- which is pretty focused, because I'm building a story. I'm not a historian, I'm creating a work of art. So I do enough research for my objective. Hillary Mantel says, "I stick with the facts until the facts run out." Of course we know a lot more about the French Revolution than first century Palestine and Rome, but we know a lot about the latter. For LOGOS my primary sources were Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, the Bible, the Talmud, and various secondary sources. Of course, the Talmud was written long after the historical Jesus' death but is based on a long tradition. Some of the original sources are actually available on the Internet. For the French Revolution there is an abundance of diaries, actual transcripts of the National Convention proceedings, etc. Thanks again! (less)
Average rating: 3.54 · 96 ratings · 62 reviews · 2 distinct works
Logos

3.58 avg rating — 93 ratings — published 2015 — 2 editions
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A Response to Terryl and Fi...

2.33 avg rating — 3 ratings
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Distant Star by Roberto Bolaño
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The Histories by Herodotus
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Cormac McCarthy
“A legion of horribles, hundreds in number, half naked or clad in costumes attic or biblical or wardrobed out of a fevered dream with the skins of animals and silk finery and pieces of uniform still tracked with the blood of prior owners, coats of slain dragoons, frogged and braided cavalry jackets, one in a stovepipe hat and one with an umbrella and one in white stockings and a bloodstained wedding veil and some in headgear or cranefeathers or rawhide helmets that bore the horns of bull or buffalo and one in a pigeontailed coat worn backwards and otherwise naked and one in the armor of a Spanish conquistador, the breastplate and pauldrons deeply dented with old blows of mace or sabre done in another country by men whose very bones were dust and many with their braids spliced up with the hair of other beasts until they trailed upon the ground and their horses' ears and tails worked with bits of brightly colored cloth and one whose horse's whole head was painted crimson red and all the horsemen's faces gaudy and grotesque with daubings like a company of mounted clowns, death hilarious, all howling in a barbarous tongue and riding down upon them like a horde from a hell more horrible yet than the brimstone land of Christian reckoning, screeching and yammering and clothed in smoke like those vaporous beings in regions beyond right knowing where the eye wanders and the lip jerks and drools.”
Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West

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