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IF. An Altarpiece for Amelia Rosselli

Photography and original text by Valeria Dani.
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  2019 FACT, FICTION, FABRICATION  2019 • Issue 4 • Fact, Fiction, Fabrication: Truth or Lies in Art and Literature Editor-in-Chief  Nicholas Barone ’19 Editors-at-Large Palak Patel ’16Alyx Raz ’16Sofia Benitez ’18Catherine Lucey ’19 Archives Ronald PatkusHaley Hill ’19 Arts Mary-Kay LombinoDakota Peterson ’19Griffin Pion ’20 Fiction M MarkEduardo RodriguezAidan Heck ’19Larissa Archondo ’20 Nonfiction Amitava KumarNicholas Garrison ’19 Poetry Molly McGlennenSamantha Leftt ’19Katerina Pavlidis ’20 Reviews Farisa Khalid ’05Anna Wiley ’19Hannah Hildebolt ’21 Advisory Board Mark AmodioAndrew AshtonDavid MeansSophia Siddique Harvey VSR Student Liason Maria Bell ‘19 Design Zach BokhourA.J. Cincotta-Eichenfield Web Design  Jeff MacalusoMegg Brown Founding Editors Alyx RazPalak Patel Printer  J.S. McCarthy Printers 2019 FACT, FICTION,FABRICATION Truth or Lies in Art and Literature Cover: Imaginary Brook Combs , Roger Camp, 2017-2018Copyright © 2019 Vassar ReviewAll contributors maintain rights to their individual works.All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any form without the express written permission of the publisher.Printed in the United States of AmericaFirst Printing, 2019ISBN 978-0-578-50512-1Vassar Review124 Raymond AvenueBox 464Poughkeepsie, NY 12604 VassarReview   is a literary arts journal published annually in the spring at Vassar College. VassarReview   is a not-for-profit enterprise. About The Vassar Review   is an international, multidisciplinary literary arts journal that fosters working relationships between faculty, students, and published artists in order to engage its annual theme with care and reflective insight.The journal is a revival of the former literary arts magazine published by the faculty and students of Vassar College. VR  entered the literary scene in 1927 shaped by a small circle of students, including Elizabeth Bishop. Today, the journal is international in scope and multidisciplinary in nature, across both a print and digital interface. Eachacademic year culminates with a printed publication and a digital supplement. Mission The Vassar Review   aims to reconsider the traditions that have defined many publications and structures, those that are not open to all, open to interpretation, or open to change, and unfold them into a collaborative journal that believes the artist’s voice and methods of expression are essential to our daily lives. Artistically & intimately, we aim to cultivate an international community that holds at its core purposeful expression, visions of things to come, and a revision of what has already been experienced. Submissions Submissions are accepted each fall. Simultaneous submissions are accepted. We consider all artistic and literary forms, including painting, photography, poetry, fiction, nonfiction, scripts, and screenplays, but also forms that often prove difficult to present, such as new media art, spoken-word poetry and performances,hypertext fiction, and others. Please visit for full submission guidelines. Acknowledgments We extend our thanks to our contributors and to the following individuals and bodies for their support and advice in shaping this issue: Aashna Bawa, Joe Bolander, Elizabeth Bradley, Francine Brown, Megg Brown, Jonathan Chenette, Steve Dahnert,  Judith Dollenmayer, Catharine Bond Hill, Sami Hopkins, Daniel Lasecki, Amy Laughlin, Alison Mateer, James Mundy, Dana Nalbandian, Elizabeth Randolph, Andrew Raz, Daria Robbins, Dean Rogers, Tracey Sciortino, Bryan Swarthout, Lisa Tessler, and Margaret Vetare.The Dean of Faculty’s Office, the English Majors’ Committee, the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, the Office of the President, Vassar College Archives & Special Collections Library, Vassar College Communications, Vassar College English Department, and Vassar College Libraries.  32   3 Dear Reader, In August 2018, former Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani declared to Chuck Todd, “Truth isn’t truth.” Defending his client’s decision not to testify for special counsel Robert Mueller, Giuliani tapped into an exhausted, but potent epistemological problem that has enraptured the mainstream media since November 2016. Who gets to define what a “fact” is? Out of what discursive forces are “facts” produced? Does interrogating objectivity’s ontological foundations simply serve the reactionary agendas of ideologues like Giuliani, or can we deploy the troubled lines between fact and fiction towards more emancipatory ends?The Vassar    Review  , founded in 1923, shuttered in 1991, and relaunched in 2016, has historically challenged the cultural norms that govern artistic production. From the erotically-suffused poetry of Elizabeth Bishop to Joseph Brodsky’s articulation of the poet’s role in an egalitarian society, the Vassar Review   has long questioned and elaborated the relationship between art and politics. Taking its aesthetic inspiration from this tradition, the theme of this issue, “Fact, Fiction, Fabrication,” is interested in raising new questions about aesthetic facticity apart from the odious politics of ascendant reactionary movements in the West and the moralizing pearl-clutching of the mainstream commentariat. If truth is historically contingent, what are “genres” when the historical forces that made their formal boundaries legible collapse? Not since the culture wars of the 1990s has “truth” been so feverishly contested in the public sphere. The fourth edition of the Vassar    Review   investigates what these conversations spell for artistic production in 2019. The contributors of this issue, across media and geographic locales, grapple incisively with these questions, opening up fresh, alternative modes of aesthetic-political engagement. I would like to thank our staff, contributors, advisory board, and especially our readers for their continued support of the journal. Enjoy, Nicholas Barone Editor-in-Chief  TABLE OF CONTENTS 4510131416212330313233344748505152545662646670717475777981828385879295100103104105 106Stefana McClureKimberly Blaeser Gion DavisDeborah A MirandaYael EbanA.W. Moreno Inbal AbergilEmily JongRomeo Oriogun Hannah Bonner Roger Campkhalil anthony peeblesCleo KeahnaStefana McClureRosaleen BertolinoKartik SethuramanQuinn Forlini Stefana McClureMorgan Levy Valeria Dani  Jasminne MendezEduardo Rodríguez SantiagoThylias MossTim YoudInbal AbergilBrian ClementsUgonnaora Owoh Christopher LinforthRory HamovitDeborah A. Miranda Kimberly BlaeserSimona BondavalliEve DunbarL. Shapley BassenFarisa KhalidSara SantosAnna CiamparellaLaura VillaseñorLucy AckmanIndexContributors  57 If from the mouths of archangels bitter words fellif from your bitter words I conferred character uponmy discipline, if from your words disordered and confusedto the point that I couldn’t help but remove every disorder frommy mind good things might be born, if from your hardheadednessflowers might be again born! if from my tiredness a refrainof love might sound, if from bitterness something new mightbe born: if from my madness a new victory might flowif from my disorder a new order might be born, if frommy prayer might spring a certainty…I would havefound you. If in the palm of your hand there were theperfect coin—If from the love of discipline were bornthe soldier’s step that doesn’t win but withdraws withoutfiring a shot. If from the light might spring a newsun flaming with love and silences… Amelia Rosselli, from War Variations  (1964)
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