Student: Mark Podesta*
Mentor: Jonas Zdanys
While looking through a blog of the lead singer of Vampire Weekend, Ezra Koenig, I stumbled upon the William Blake poem, “Jerusalem,” and was transfixed by this idea that there were rumors of Jesus traveling to England at some point in his young life. During further exploration into the matter, I also found that there are rumors and reports of him studying with monks in India for a portion of his childhood. Widely considered to be the “Lost Years of Jesus,” the time between his twelfth birthday and his thirtieth birthday, there are no accounts in the New Testament of Jesus’ life. Being some of the most formative years of any individual’s life, I was surprised to find out how little we know about the Christianity’s “Messiah.” This inspired me to write a novel of a modern-day symbolic representation of Jesus, Jeshua D. Nassartiz, living in the 21st century and attending Columbia University. Following a loose narrative of some “critical” moments of an individual’s life between the ages of twelve and thirty, I hope to create a satirical, and thought-provoking exploration into the lives of the 21st century’s “Lost Generation,” and comment on the universal themes of identity, faith, and understanding.