Fringe 15, this year's second issue, contains two dominant thematic threads: the conflict between East and West, and the connection between past and present. As with so many issues, we didn't plan this, rather, the themes arose from the work we found most compelling.
On the East-West Tip:
- In East-West Encounter in Orhan Pamuk's The White Castle, Dr. N. S. Y. Ayengar speaks eloquently about the ways that Turkish author Orhan Pamuk bridges the gap between East and West and taps into universal humanity.
- Melissa Fiorentino's visual art of women in positions of ecstasy adds ambiguity and when I looked at them I felt excited, poised on the brink of discovery, like the women in her work -- twists on the conventional female nude.
- With acute observations and lyrical descriptive passages, Kathy L. Nguyen brings the reader into the world of Vietnamese sex tourism in Honda Dream, a short story that also deals with the relationship between east and west, colonizer and colonized.
- In the Problem with Having Too Many of the Same Letters in Your Name, a short-nonfiction piece Nina Mamikunian shows that the difference between Latina and Armenian is only two letters.
- The nonfiction piece This is Not Warm and Fuzzy by Noel Dunn shows the difference between the author's image and the reality of an eco-tourism camp in Laos.
On the connection between past and present:
- Barbara Crooker's poetry riffs on the connections between age and youth.
- Wendy Taylor Carlisle's longer poem, Decocted Life decodes small talk between old friends.
- The short short Dr. Krauss and the Worst Possible Universe by Anna Shapiro chronicles what will happen when our robot probes invade the land of our children.
Picture: Leap of Discovery by Melissa Fiorentino