People of every age and stripe dissimulate, bluff, and beguile, whether in order to harm or protect. The writer, the artist, the magician, the thief—deceivers all. Animals, too, are masters of deceit. Even the orchid employs a wonderfully varied arsenal of pollinator deceptions, luring bees and wasps with a false promise of nourishment or sex. And consider the great Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva who wrote, “A deception that elevates us is dearer than a legion of low truths,” thus complicating the subject entirely. This special issue of Conjunctions gathers a wide spectrum of essays, fiction, and poetry on the classic subject of deception, exploring a world in which truth is a most fragile, elaborate, and mercurial thing.
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Tactics of the Wraith
La tortue, or, The Tortoise
Piracy, Chemistry, and Mappa Mundi
From The Immanent Field
A Monologue Addressed to the Madame’s Cicisbeo
From A Book of Spells