Synopses & Reviews
For the past 25 years, the journal Conjunctions has been known for introducing unlikely literary juxtapositions. Issue 53 takes such mergers as its theme, examining the hybrids that are created when fiction and poetry enter the supposedly objective realm of history. Many questions are raised by the pairings presented: is it possible, for instance, that the narrative artist can forge a heightened vision of what was, or what might have been, that becomes more compelling, more telling, than the historian's account? What does it mean when an historical incident becomes myth, and that myth influences history? The instigators of these queries are a stellar selection of voices from contemporary fiction, poetry and drama, including Robert Coover, Nathaniel Mackey, Peter Gizzi, Elizabeth Robinson, William H. Gass, Can Xue, Howard Norman and Paul West. They share a knack for conjuring historical periods, events and characters in a blur of fact, fiction and a visionary hybrid of the two.