Editor's Note: Fall 2015
The Advocate Editorial Board
Fall finds The Harvard Advocate floating and spinning in good foliar form: physical injuries abound, new locks and lists are rendered irrelevant by infenestrated revelers, and those prone to suspicion let anxieties take the reigns as winter looms. Still, dizziness marks maturation, and a closer look shows our green chlorophyll acquiring elder hues of red and gold.
For columns, in fact, we have three close-readings: the first on representations of the female body in today’s sexual assault discourse, the second on translated poetry’s lauded bluntness, the third on CityTarget as an emblem of the suburban émigré’s urban gaze.
The Art Board, on the other hand, eschews gaze for works that venture into new modes of representation—overlaying and compressing various signals, patterns, identities, and forms. Their experimental consideration of process is the translation of the familiar into the unknown.
Speaking of unknown, it's been a sunny semester for the Poetry Board: Not only do all three poems feature prominent solar imagery, but they are penned by poets new to the Advocate. "Sunset" is generically omnivorous, reedy and ready, tendentious as a spider's web; "hear fell their sinew" is a blood-soaked--or sap-soaked--family narrative; and reading Leah Xue's tiny "Moles" is like watching Nik Wallenda slowly begin to tip over, while beneath him the Grand Canyon sucks in its gut.
Though they avoid Arizona, the Features Board also grapples with vertiginous journey. Paths wind through cornfields, on cobbled Spanish stones, across Europe’s airspaces. The view from above might be dizzying, but these writers lead us, hand-in-hand, through whatever experience arises.
The Fiction Board offers two such experiences: one of a birthday party, the other of a man reincarnated as a chicken. The tales seem unlikely to complement each other, but the board views its selections as very much in sync—united by formal ingenuity, elements of the bizarre, and some ambiguity.
Our upcoming winter issue will mark the Advocate’s 150th Anniversary and, in recognition, we will revisit our founding motto, Dulce est Periculum. We find ourselves wondering, at a cultural moment dominated by the question of safety, why the arts and letters have often been oriented, not by tropes of truth or beauty, but by this less examined value: Danger. We welcome contributions that breach habit, cast off comfort’s apathy, or risk a new form of thought. Look for Danger in 2016, as well as other opportunities to help us celebrate our sesquicentennial.