Accepting Submissions for 2011 Starting February 1

Caveat Lector will begin accepting all submissions for 2011 issues on February 1. For more details, check our Submissions page.

Letter from the Editors: The Revolution of the Dream

Christopher Bernard

  “Dreaming is the brain’s natural state.”
        ―A contemporary neurologist

     Art is a shared dream made real for a moment. And if, as the man says, dreaming is the brain’s natural state, then art―from painting to poetry, music to dance, drama to film to quilt-making to cookery, indeed every human actvity whose aim is pleasure, fascination, the sense of magic and of beauty―is our home country.
     The Surrealists based their dazzling and disorienting creations on this finding, though they were the first to make it a deliberate purpose: to turn life into a dream, dreams into the stuff of reality. America, in that sense, has always been, at its best, a surrealist country; or half surrealist―its poetry too often spoiled by prose and account books, politics and puritanism. Too many Americans are poets who think like bankers (as James Bybee notes), dreamers who dream like lawyers and stockholders. Is it any wonder then that the “American Dream” has come to taste so ashen?
     The poets and artists of Russia during the early years of the revolution played on the same discovery made by the Surrealists, and for a time political and artistic revolution joined hands, since they had the same goal: the conquest of human happiness upon earth. A naïve and childish hope, some will no doubt claim, and maybe they’re right. Or, according to others, the only goal that gives human life meaning without forcing us to live as though power and money were not harsh and bitter substitutes for passion and dream.
     So let ours be the revolution of the dream. In token, this season Caveat Lector inaugurates a series of performances at the Revolution Café in San Francisco: on every last Monday of the month, we will be hosting art and music, spoken word, drama and film screenings, and whatever else we can pull out of our hat, in an attempt to show how the arts combine to deepen the dream that can be human happiness.
     With this issue, we also launch a new website (with the same URL), designed by Andrew Steinmetz, a gallery of whose photographs can be seen there. The new site also presents the sardonic and irreverent films by San Francisco filmmaker Waylon Bacon and new work by the English photographer Miriam Moreno Perez. You will also find a link to all of
’s old website issues, plus such trusty standbys as the Wunderkabinett of our most recent intriguing finds on the web.
     Last but not least: the third “Caveat Lector Book” is being published this season, through Regent Press: the second volume of “The Blessings of Gaia” quartet of novels, Runes of Iona, by Robert Balmanno (the first volume, September Snow, appeared in 2006).