reflection as an image of loss
For Aristotle, art was the faithful imitation of nature, in which beauty could be realized. For Wilde, life was an imitation of art, which operated like a veil and no longer a mirror. Though diametrically opposed in appearance, both claims have in common a consequence of art and perception of reality—that the world is felt as an imperfection, and art an impossibility. Since the symbolists, art and lived experience have become homogenous in their shared conditions of perpetual transformation and, thus, deception. “We possess of reality,” writes Ortega y Gasset, “nothing but the ideas we have succeeded in forming about it.” Put another way, existence is also what we dismantle from it; what we embellish or neglect when presenting ourselves to others.
For this issue of Vestiges, we are looking for Plato’s truth thrice removed, Pater’s sense of facts and Kermode’s sense of an ending: words that deal in lies just as the world contracts ideals, expressions made inherently false by that which they attempt to falsify, narratives that reclaim literature from the diegetic, and the artistic rendering of images that are not. Through this emphasis on the mimetic process and residual loss, we are especially seeking creative treatments of omission rather than participation; the unattainable instead of the absolute; the visibility of depth and the corruption of surface; the prominence of style and its aberration of the actual; the paratactic in place of progression; the procedure of thought, not its end result.
Submissions will remain open until October 15. To be considered for the issue, submit either one piece of unpublished prose (not exceeding 5,000 words), up to five pieces of poetry (in one document, indicating the start of each piece), or one essay (not exceeding 5,000 words).
Thank you for allowing us to review your work. We look forward to reading.