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Descant – Winter 2003

This Canadian review is separated into sections titled “Up the Down Staircase,” “Stone Games,” “Mask in Flight,” “In Fall/Forest Garden, Book, and Prison,” Stories From the Water Glass,” and “Strange Honeymoons.” The section titles are as lyric (and sometimes as obscure) as the poetry, fiction, essays and art contained within. The weirdly haunting short fiction “Bloodline” by Janette Platana is a standout piece, as is the poem “Babies in the Eyes” written by Wang Shunjian and translated by Ouyang Yu. This Canadian review is separated into sections titled “Up the Down Staircase,” “Stone Games,” “Mask in Flight,” “In Fall/Forest Garden, Book, and Prison,” Stories From the Water Glass,” and “Strange Honeymoons.” The section titles are as lyric (and sometimes as obscure) as the poetry, fiction, essays and art contained within. The weirdly haunting short fiction “Bloodline” by Janette Platana is a standout piece, as is the poem “Babies in the Eyes” written by Wang Shunjian and translated by Ouyang Yu. I always enjoy reading Descant for the fresh voices and occasional bursts of humor (too rare in literary magazines), like the short comic strip titled “Figs,” by David Collier, relating various bizarre advice for hockey players from a 1940’s book by sports scientist Lloyd Percival. The black and white art work – one series of photographs, a set of shots of bronze sculptures, and a set of reproductions of oil paintings – are ethereal and beautiful. The contributor’s notes, as usual, reads as a who’s who of Canadian literary stars and up-and-comers [Descant, P.O. Box 314, Station P, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 2S8, Canada. E-mail: [email protected]. Single issue $15. http://www.descant.on.ca/] – JHG

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