June 22, 2017 by The Citron Review
In The Art of Subtext, Charles Baxter describes the term as “the unspoken, the suppressed and the secreted.”
A therapist laughed when I used that word this week—it being a literary term, and me being a word nerd. And yet, to varying degrees, we all live in subtext, hiding parts of ourselves, and working hard—often quite unsuccessfully—to understand the mystifying behaviors of others.
Our Citron Six Summer CNF selections explore subtext, delving into the ways we hide who we really are, and the veiled and sometimes inexplicable ways that we tango with the people in our lives.
In “Córdoba, Argentina,” Lillian Kwok explores her travels in a foreign land, living like a ghost and pondering the repercussions of a few words shared with a stranger. DL Shirey provides a humorous and philosophical exploration of one of the most subtle of human signals in “Blink.” In “Anubis,” Nathan Elliott contrasts an extraordinary relationship between a father and his young son (explained, perhaps, only by reincarnation?) with a rite of passage that is universal.
Several authors reflect on long-ago memories where the unspoken reigns, of fathers who influence with both their words and their stony silences. In “Relief,” Jiaying Lim opens up about the gory, hidden fears of her ten-year-old self waiting for her parents to return home. KG Waite invites us to relive her exhilarating childhood trips down the Cuyahoga River in “Prelude,” and shares the unexpressed truths she uncovers decades later. In “What Will Be,” Alice Lowe reflects on her unsettling early awareness of sexuality more than sixty years after the fact, and the early events that shaped her life choices.
My co-editor of CNF, Zach Jacobs, and I are thrilled to have six superb pieces to offer you this issue. We share in thanking our authors for doing the hard work of writers, for diving below the surface to find the truth, and for having the daring and grit to share their pearls with the world.
Marianne Woods Cirone
Creative Nonfiction Editor, The Citron Review