The Milan Review Of Ghosts Rome Launch Party

June 30, 2011 – h.8.00 pm
Dalverme Estivo – c/o Circolo degli Artisti – Giardino, Via Casilina Vecchia 42, Rome

The Milan Review of Ghosts is the first issue of a semiannual literary journal, founded in Milan, written in english, that publishes short stories and hand-made artworks such as paintings, drawings, etc. Each issue of The Milan Review will be radically different from the other. The theme of the first issue is ghosts, obviously: 192 pages featuring exclusive stories by Dave Cull, Jonathan Dixon, Glen Hirschberg, Noy Holland, Jonathon Keats, Tao Lin, Clancy Martin, E.C. Osondu, Dawn Raffel, Nelly Rei$er, Rebecca Rosenblum, Deb Olin Unferth, Corinna Vallianatos, Brent Van Horne and illustrated by Matt Furie and paintings by Maison Du Crac.

It  looks like a book but it’s considered a magazine because it is a periodical publication covering a particular subject: independent literature + art. The Milan Review focuses on a fine and evanescent spectrum of something new and relevant about creative work and fiction, packed in an atypical format. In other words this project is interesting because it has a strange substance and shadowy semblance, for its spiritual consistency and because it suggests qualities and memories, unknown images and sounds. Exactly like a ghost. Tomorrow there will be launch party in Rome. Check it out.

Here are two exclusive sketches by Dawn Raffel included in the first issue.

The Thing with Wings

I have two of my sister’s paintings on my walls—one a beachscape that was a wedding gift and the other an enormous vermillion flower that she gave me on my fortieth birthday. I have a clay pitcher she made, which is next to the luminous vase with the lady from my grandfather. I have the usual gifts an older sister gives a younger over the years—bracelets, earrings, blouses. And then there is a ridiculous stuffed creature that sits on the arm of the chair that I read in; she gave it to me one year on my birthday when, she said, she had run out of ideas. I think it’s supposed to be some sort of a bear, although it has gossamer wings sewn on. It’s neither cute nor pretty. It stays on my chair because it is an impossible life form, a fiction, like our childhood, as my sister and I remember it. (by Dawn Raffel)

The Lady on the Vase

One day when he was 101 years old, my grandfather took the vase off the windowsill in his house and gave it to me. That vase had sat at the living room window for as long as I could remember. It is luminous blue, with an oval portrait of a lady painted on it.

He told me he’d bought the vase from the man moving out of the apartment into which my grandfather was moving his own young family. This was toward the end of the Depression. The man’s wife had committed suicide. He was short of cash and was selling her things, including the vase, already antique, or at the least, old. My grandfather told me he bought it out of pity for that broken, broke man.

He handed it to me.

My grandfather died the following year. (“It all went by so fast,” he said, not long before he drew his final breath.)

The vase sits on the top shelf of my floor-to-ceiling bookcase—too high too reach, or break. Every day I see that face, surrounded by luminous blue. The woman is serene, young; her brown curls lustrous, falling as they may. Above a diaphanous gown, her bosom swells. She gives away nothing. (by Dawn Raffel)

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