THE TWENTIETH YEAR!

FMSW-Papier-Mache Ed1994 saw the birth of From May Sarton’s Well:Writings of May Sarton, Selections by Edith Royce Schade. The book was published by Papier-Mache Press in September of that year,  with a copper colored cover. This second decade since its publication has sent me to musing about what happened during that year and what I thought about it all.

What an  exciting time it was for me. It followed a long gestation period that began with my reading of May’s Plant Dreaming Deep in 1971.

On February 3, 1994 I wrote the following in my journal:

“I sent “the book” to Papier-Mache today!

“I feel as if I am sending a child off to college in some ways. She is likely to change a lot. She is in other hands. How will she be seen by other people? Will she speak to them? Will they understand her? I have very little influence on her now. But I care a lot. Like a child, she is more than me. I gave her birth, and tried to nourish her, but she took off and grew on her own. She is herself. I don’t understand everything about her. Many will see her very differently than I. How fortunate I have been to nurture her. I am proud of her, but I cannot and must not take full credit for her. She is a gift.”

I was thinking especially of the photographs I had made for the book. I didn’t even mention the major role of May’s writing in these thoughts I’d jotted down. But I realize now even more than I did then, that “she”–From May Sarton’s Well–was a gift to me. I think it has been a gift to readers too, though, and hope that will continue as long as books are read.

Recovering Published In Japan

This photograph, “Reading Her Mail”, appears on the cover of the Japanese translation of May Sarton’s journal, Recovering, published by Misuzu Shobo, Ltd. in Japan. It has fooled (not intentionally on my part) quite a few people, including that publisher and Sarton herself. When, I showed May this image along with many other of my photos that I considered using in From May Sarton’s Well, I noticed she seemed puzzled, perhaps thinking that some things about it were familiar, others strange. It was not her Victorian chair, it was not her dog, Tamas, the room was not hers, but the woman’s hair was very much like hers and the chair was similar to hers. Actually, the photograph is of my mother in her home with her Brittany spaniel.

In 2002 I received a letter from the Foreign Rights person of Misuzu Shobo, Ltd. requesting my permission to use my photograph on the cover of their edition of Recovering. I immediately guessed that they assumed the woman in it was May Sarton herself. Evidently they did not check the “Photograph References” in the appendix of From May Sarton’s Well. It was because of May’s puzzling over this photo that I decided I should include that section in case other readers wondered if it was May reading her mail.

In 2002 I received a letter from the Foreign Rights person of Misuzu Shobo, Ltd. requesting my permission to use my photograph on the cover of their edition of Recovering. I immediately guessed that they assumed the woman in it was May Sarton herself. Evidently they did not check the “Photograph References” in the appendix of From May Sarton’s Well. It was because of May’s puzzling over this photo that I decided I should include that section in case other readers wondered if it was May reading her mail.

The picture is on page 117 in the chapter focused on”Time”.