Brought on by a high body temperature, a fever dream can be defined as a particularly vivid, often nightmarish, dream. It can be disorienting, leaving the dreamer shaken as she opens her eyes and tries to re-ground herself in reality. A fever dream can also be defined as the year 2020.
We decided on the theme “Fever Dream” for the Fall 2020 issue back in May, independently of the state of our world. But as the dire social, political, and economic conditions of this country intensified over the course of the summer and fall, I couldn’t ignore the uncanny suitability of our theme. The combination of the COVID-19 pandemic, the horrific racial injustices that sparked momentum in the Black Lives Matter movement, and the presidential election has made daily life disorienting and nightmarish. It’s hard to ground ourselves amid the onslaught of alarming news alerts. The rules of our reality are no longer clear.
As was true with our Spring 2020 “Boundaries” issue, while putting together the “Fever Dream” issue, I was reminded of the power of creativity to process the unimaginable. Through writing and artmaking, we find the meaning that helps us move forward and fight for what we believe in. I hope I speak for everyone involved in this issue when I say that getting through this surreal year would not have been possible without being creative whether in direct response to current events or otherwise.
I am honored to provide the space for our contributors to be creative during this unprecedented time. It was our hope that the work published in this issue would challenge the divide between dream and reality, to revel in the weird, and our contributors did just that. I am proud to promote their writing and art.
Thank you to the entire Caustic Frolic staff, we would not have been able to produce this issue without you. Thank you to our advisor Kimon Keramidas and the XE faculty for their unwavering support. And once again, thank you to our contributors for their innovative creativity and passionate drive.
-Sarah Jane & Holly